Saturday, October 31, 2015

Buona Serra Italia!

A page out of my sketchbook-
Featuring the BEST sandwich in the world!
By Cate Solari

If you had asked me where I would be sitting at this time of year last semester I would have said, “most likely in my dorm, or even more likely the Ceramics studio.”  Where am actually sitting right now you ask?  In my kitchen, in my apartment, that sits on Via Farini, in the middle of Florence, Italy.  Yup, that’s where I am.  Never would have guessed it, never thought I would have the guts to spend an entire semester away from my family, friends, and most importantly my dog, but here I am nine weeks in and slowly realizing that I am running out of time in this amazing place.  Sometimes, it doesn’t even seem like I’m in school.  I still think I am on summer vacation and that when I go back to the cold of Uconn I have two full semesters left of junior year, but I don’t.  Sitting sketching and water coloring in my sketchbook at the Pitti Palace on a bench surrounded by the Boboli Gardens is actual class, walking through the streets snapping pictures of bicycles whizzing by on their way across town is class, sitting repeating and trying to tell my brain “Mi chiamo Cate” and “Di dove sei?” rather than “My name is Cate” and “Where are you from?” is class. Its crazy! 

My drawing set up at the Mercato Centrale-
Complete with a cappuccino! 
In and outside of class we spend a lot of time sketching in our sketchbooks.  For me this has been a huge challenge that I am happy to accept.  Coming from a three dimensional background I spend very little time sketching things that I find in the world around me.  Its like a new way of looking a the world and looking at a page.  The page is the finished product rather than just the beginning forms or plan for the finished product.  I like it.  Sometimes I pretend when I start a new page that it is a poster or a webpage, this helps me to visualize the composition better and to think about including other elements like text and pasted images.  So far my favorite place to sketch is the Mercato Centrale.  It’s like a scene from a movie.  People bustling in and out of the doors, shouting over each other to the venders, trying to get the freshest cut of beef or the juiciest tomatoes.  The vibrant colors fill the room and the smells as you walk between the stalls are like a breath of fresh air.  Down one aisle, the pungent smell of fresh fish, the clean fresh smell of citrus down the other, and the subtle waft of fresh bread baking around the corner.   
Mercato Centrale

I've also really enjoyed taking photos for our photography class.  Its really interesting having the city as your subject.  Unlike at Uconn where your pretty limited to mooing cows and sunsets over horsebarn hill!  Its really strange how on a daily basis I walk by the Uffizi, or through Piazza della Signorina and think nothing of it, despite being surrounded by countless tourist pointing their cameras up to the faux David.  Being able to live among these incredible works of art that have been standing for decades always gets to me.  And how thousands of artist before me have stood where I am standing and have pulled their own inspirations from it.  Below are some more photos that can help better describe my experience here much better than words can.  So much has happened over these past few weeks I can barely wrap my head around it!  Just looking back through my photos to pick some to include I keep thinking "Oh yeah! I remember doing that!"  and being utterly surprised that I was actually there and not just looking at a picture from google images.  Until next time! Buona Serra! 
Sketchbook page- My unofficial best friend tying up meat
Part of my "Something New" Project-
Blueprints of the Palazzo Vecchio
Drawing alongside the Arno
Taken for a photography assignment-
At the Boboli Gardens
Having fun with some stop motion photography
on a sunny day with water balloons!


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