Saturday, 17 September 2011


Bella Italia! Oh beautiful Italy.

I have been in bella Florence for the past week - staying in a very Italian-y flat with my wonderful friend Lavinia - to spend two weeks at the Charles Cecil drawing school. The school offers training through a naturalistic tradition of painting from life & it has been a dream of mine for years to come here & be taught at the school. I was literally too excited to have the opportunity to pop along for this short summer introductory course. Charles Cecil teaches the 'sight-size' technique which I have to say is quite frankly the most intense & focused way of drawing I have ever done - our days are 9am-4pm in the studio (3 hours life drawing, 1 hour lunch break, 3 hours drawing from plaster casts...with rather a lot of coffee & ice-cream breaks thrown in...I guess it doesn't sound like that much, but the focus required somehow makes it an unbelievable & exhausting experience. I can't quite find the words to describe it except that I blaady love it. OWL-tastic comes reasonable close)

Ending at 4pm each day means we have the afternoons to wander the streets of Florence, soaking up the vibes, watching Italian hunks cruise by on their Vespas & loving every minute. We seem to get lost in awe of the place (as well as actually lost...but that's another story), for example, we took sketch books into the Baptistry of the Duomo to check it out on our way to a gallery & found ourselves still there an hour & a half later...
I spent quite a substantial time drawing Jesus' feet. They were ideal.

Cruising around the city, taking snaps all over the show...strange bits & bobs as always!
Owl spotting too, of course...

  Gorgeous sights at literally every turn...

 Intense time in the studio...A few socks & panties hanging out


I've been carrying around a small journal documenting our time here & as well filling it with sketches of anything & everything...oh being an artist in bella Firenze...what could possibly be better?

We've been having such delicious & appealing Italian food, I had to laugh when I spotted one of the most unappealing looking things - chips on a pizza? Interesting.



  1. Hi B. Fascinating as always. I thought it had been quiet here recently.

    We start back at N'cle next week. You should be here.........

  2. Amazing. So very jealous.

    Also, I've seen the owl bags for sale at a market here in Melbourne. Very similar indeed...

  3. cool trip! I bet all the technical drawing skills you have developed will help you in your crazy inks too.
    i'd mention the thing about needing to know the rules to be able to break them ... but that slightly cliche so we'll ignore the remark.