Sunday, December 11, 2011

So the time has come to say goodbye to the beautiful city of Fiorenze...

Studying here since September has provided an irreplaceable experience of personal and artistic growth that came so effortlessly, I was hardly aware it was happening.

Being the platform that cultivated the most profoundly progressive movement in human conceptualization and artistic creation, Florence is embedded with an aura of the artists of the Renaissance that would be so wasteful to not interact with. In a city thats so indescribably enriched with unique beauty and architecture, accessing creative inspiration is constantly flowing throughout my mind each time i walk to class, get groceries, or simply glance out the window...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Oh Florence, I'll miss you!

I don’t think anything is comparable to the experience I have gained from studying abroad in Florence this semester. Florence has so much to offer, and as an art history major, I couldn’t think of a better place to learn to draw and understand the intensive process necessary to create works of art! Immersed in Italian culture and surrounded by the work of Renaissance masters has motivated me to make the most of the situation and will leave me with a better understanding of art as a whole.

Our hands-on visits to the Uffizi, Accadamia, Duomo and many more have allowed us to see artwork up close and aid us in both our art history class and drawing class. This semester has been unlike anything else and it

is going to be so hard going home and being limited to textbooks and classroom settings!

Anyway, I’m so grateful for my time spent in Florence, the awesome people I’ve met here and the new variety of skills I’ll be leaving Florence with. I most definitely have to come back and visit soon because as far as I’m concerned, it’ll be hard living without Michelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus after seeing them in person (to name a few). Here are some pictures of both my artwork & the city:

Where did the time go?


Today was the first time it finally hit me: HOW HAS THIS SEMESTER GONE BY SO FAST?
Back in September, I couldn't even imagine being at the point where I am now. I love this country and experience so much that I even decided to stay an extra semester! Even though I will miss this group like crazy, I can't wait to see what happens in the spring.
So far in Florence, I've been introduced to beautiful art, incredible food, and a gorgeous language I'm still trying to learn. I was able to visit cities and towns all over Italy (including Perugia, Chianti, the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, Rome, Venice...etc.) as well as Spain and Ireland. I can't wait to add a few more countries to my list by next semester.
This last week of classes flew by, just like this fall did, mostly because we've all been extremely busy with getting ready for finals and fitting in some last minute trips or activities so we have no regrets when we go home. I spent a good part of the day in a cafe with Hanna and Katy enjoying Italian coffee and putting together study guides for our Art History exam. I would choose that over Homer Babbidge Library at UConn any day.
I'm excited to go home and see friends and family for a nice break but am so eager to come back (I can't go without pesto pasta and gelato for too long). I'll miss everyone here so much! I loved our studio classes and wish we could keep painting and drawing in Florence forever.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Last Hoorah...

Ciao, ragazzi!

The trip is almost over by the time I'm writing this so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to reflect a bit on what we've just done here. These past 3.5 months or so have been one interesting experience I doubt any of us will really ever forget. Everything, both the positives and negatives alike, all the laughs, complaints, adventures, stresses, etc. that we've all come across have come together to shape a totally unique program that we will think back on over-all without regret once home. No one will leave here wishing they had not come.

The whole cultural and experience aspect connects back to a project I recently did in this class, the one on "light" (the big head with the literal and metaphorical representation of the word). The idea was, again, that when people say expressions like they have "seen the light," there is a reason for that. Shedding "light" in any sense on something brings it out of the "dark," meaning that it shows you or helps you understand something that you did not quite get or "see" previously. After roaming around the streets of Florence as well as many other European cities, the group as a whole I would say has been able to learn things about ourselves that we may not have known before, cleared away and/or reaffirmed stereotypes of other peoples, maybe adopted a new style, strut, language or two, even a new attitude, guts, sense of independence, over-all assertiveness (hmm…a little bit of "Italian-ness" rubbing off, perhaps?)

Anyway, I'll save you all from having to read a novel from me and wrap up, but my point is that what it all boils down to, I think you'll agree, is that we've all grown, become more cultured/knowledgeable, more open, tried new things from foods to activities, and picked up so many things abroad that we will be bringing back with us (not to mention probably brag about to friends and family;)). We are just not the same EXACT people that we were that day when we arrived a pretty thoroughly confused group of UConn students in the Florence airport, wondering where any teachers were, where the signs/people were trying to tell us to go, and WHAT the heck we were doing- am I right? VA BENE!??


Okay, so just for fun, here are some of my own pictures that can serve as examples of things that would not have happened if I had not come here and decided I was going to do crazy things (or, just things that personally I normally would not have done, I know you guys have your own versions of these)

On top of a tour bus in Barcelona

Club in Prague - Nothin' wrong with some good innocent fun :)

Paragliding over the Swiss Alps

The Must-Do cliche tourist picture a Pisa

Getting a bird's-eye view of Tuscany

John Lennon Wall, Prague

No better pizza than one made yourself,

in an authentic Italian brick oven,

in a little paper hat...

Gondola Man in Venice

World-famous FC Barcelona "Futboll," AKA Soccer.

Boat ride along the beautifullll Amalfi Coast.
That place was absolutely UNREAL, lemme tell ya.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Over the past three months, I've seen and done so many wonderful things as a result of my experience here in Florence, which makes it really hard to pick just a few things to blog about!
As a result, I've decided to approach this blog in the typical Meg way - with a list! And way too much rambling text with exclamation points!

(A Few Of) The Most Wonderful Things About Florence, In No Particular Order:

1. Central market coffees with cinnamon hearts.
2. Making Italian friends.
3. Riding Stefania's scooter.
4. Going to Paris over midterm break.
5. Thanksgiving with my roommates.
6. Sketch crawl/general art shenanigans.

Pictures to follow at a future moment when the internet is feeling more cooperative.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sketch Crawl Saturday!

Today we went on a sketch crawl. It was a really nice time and I'm super glad I went. (If you didn't go you totally missed out on free pizza.) First we took a stroll through the Costume Gallery. I posted a few fun, simple drawings of some of the dresses I saw as we walked around. At the end of the gallery they had the actual clothes that Cosimo de Medici was buried in on display. Then, since it was so nice outside we all decided to go hang out in the Boboli Gardens and climb this huge wall. I also posted another fun, simple drawing I did of the Boboli Gardens. Afterwards, we went to a nearby restaurant and ate the pizza you missed out on. Then, after enjoying a really free meal, some of us went back and took a look at the Gallery of Modern Art. The sheer amount of art in the gallery was completely awesome. Overall, it was a very good day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Workshop Complete!

Well, we wrapped up a fantastic collage and painting workshop this week with Visiting Professor Deborah Dancy. She put us through our paces as we created 5 collages and 5 small paintings, inspired by the collages, each. It was a busy day but well worth it. Here are some pictures.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Welcome to Community Dinner

We recently had a great pre-holiday Community Dinner! Our special guest was Prof. Deborah Dancy, from the University of Connecticut, who was in town to run a special one-week workshop in collage and painting. There was lots of great, great food, made by our own little hands. Enjoy these photos as we enjoyed the dinner!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Hello everybody! Studying in florence has been such a fantastic experience. I am constantly amazed by all of the beautiful art and architecture that I am surrounded by everyday; from the grafiti walls to the buildings dating back to the early 1400's. I have also had the opportunity to travel to Paris, Barcelona, areas in Italy and a few more pending trips. Four months is just not enough time to experience everything Italy and europe has to offer! Here are some pictures of my experience!! Enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

La Città Strana e Straniera

Ciao tutto!

An enormous flock of pigeons lifting off, flying in low circles several times rather pointlessly, and then landing back down in the exact spot that they took off from. Feet on lampposts and furniture that are, quite literally, feet. Purses in the shapes of dragons and frogs, and purses presented on stands that look like bird legs and feet. A suit jacket on a half-length mannequin, its torso that of a human, its head that of an eagle or falcon. A man walking a pig on a leash down the sidewalk, and a street performer performing the illusion of levitation in the Piazza della Repubblica. This city certainly is a quirky one. But it’s this spontaneous, vivacious nature, in juxtaposition and contrast with (complementarily so) the quiet, serene beauty of its art, architecture, and natural spaces, that makes it such a fascinating place.

It may be strange, but it’s the kind of strangeness that you want to become familiar with; the kind of strangeness that you want to immerse yourself in – because from my experience there’s really nowhere else like it. It’s the kind of place that encourages exploration, both internal and external – which is wonderful, because there really is so much to explore! There’s the food, the language, the atmosphere, even just the act of seeing – the architecture, the sculpture, and nature, all immersed in sunlight that’s warm in regards to both sensation and color. Italy really is a wonderful place to make art!

Here's some of my work from this semester: