Posts Tagged With: sea glass

The highs and lows of house hunting, the origins of sea glass and ennui…

Ciao!

How is everybody? This week I bring you: House Hunting, The Origins of Sea Glass and Ennui…

First off, I had an interesting couple of days house hunting last week. I found a couple of houses in Serra San Quirico, a lovely hill top town 45 minutes or so away from Camerano at the base of Monte Murano. I wasn’t particularly looking there – I’d prefer somewhere closer to here and the beach, but some nice looking houses popped up there on the search engines so I arranged to go and see them.  The first one was definitely an option – it was quite a unique and quirky property that could have been cosy, but the only outside space was a tiny balcony accessed off the bathroom and I’m not convinced it got any sun. But I’d like land ! It was very good value though at a “negotiable” €80,000 for a two bed and there really wasn’t a lot to be done to it. I wasn’t particularly struck by the second house so that’s out. Then the estate agent took us (I’ve a friend staying at the moment who I’ve been dragging around to the houses) to a “mystery house” (it felt like I was on “A House in the Sun”!). It was the most interesting of all the properties. It was a 4 bed, much bigger than the first property and with a garden, yet the same price. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much junk in a house before – none of the lights worked and every which way you turned there was a creepy, odd shaped object under a sheet. However, after the second visit with an architect, it appears that it would require a lot more work (and I suspect an exorcist) than I’d originally anticipated so I think that’s out unfortunately too.

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The house was beautifully show cased…

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…But look at the view from what would have been my bedroom!

I’m interested in quite a few other properties around here too and have contacted lots of estate agents but many of them didn’t respond or didn’t follow up later. One said they’re on holiday until the end of March. I can’t help but wonder if this might be why the housing market in Italy isn’t doing particularly well.

Exhibition News

A month or two back, I was somewhat unenthusiastic when my neighbour came around to say that he’d found us a place for the exhibition and it would cost us both €600 each for 6 months. I said at the time that I would be interested, but couldn’t pay that much and he should probably find someone else (who….er, actually had some art). Meanwhile, I decided to give it a go – you only live once eh? Hence the mad “produce some art” rush. I’ve been hesitant to follow up with him on the off chance it wasn’t going to happen anymore. Without the pressure, I’m not so productive. However, we met on the stairs the other day and had a chat about it. He’s found another artist to pay for the other part of the exhibition but is still interested in a “guest” section for me. For free! So it’s worked out perfectly. He’s not that fussed by the concept of the paintings but seemed to like the driftwood art and the stuff in frames so I think they’re in – I’m particularly pleased with that because I’m more interested in doing that than the paintings.

Meanwhile, I’m going to try and set up an “Etsy” shop (Etsy is a website where artists can sell their work) to see if there’s a market for any of my art. If not, you should all take it upon yourselves to buy my stuff so I don’t feel like a failure 😉

This week I’ve done…

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Next set of driftwood houses

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Mussel shell, pebble and driftwood mirror

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Mussel shell mosaic mirror

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Mussel shell heart card… Hoping to sell them in packs

I’ve also been experimenting with dry brushing. I’ve done 3 dry brush portraits now, but it takes me ages for some reason (it’s supposed to be super quick!) and it’s easy to get impatient and make a mistake that you can’t fix. I’m not known for my patience. My attempts have been somewhat blotchy (you have to dip your paintbrush in oil and  then blot it all off. If you don’t, you get a blotchy look).  I’m back in the UK briefly next week and hope to spy on some of the street portrait artists in Trafalgar Square to see if it’s a technique they use and how they do it. Here’s my latest attempt at Angelina Jolie…

Doesn’t much look like Anglina eh? Annoying. I can see that dry brushing would be an effective technique if I could just get quicker and develop the art of patience.

Doesn’t much look like Anglina eh? Annoying. I can see that dry brushing would be an effective technique if I could just get quicker and develop the art of patience.

On the sea glass front – I’ve been getting worried that I’m exhausting my supply of sea glass in Le Marche. It made me wonder where it came from, so I wikipedia’d it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seaglass) and oh my goodness, there are people obsessed with sea glass out there! I mean, I like it and everything, but some people actually belong to a Sea Glass Association! Anyway, I had hoped that the sea had a limitless supply of sea glass. I’d hoped that perhaps some of it might be produced naturally a bit like diamonds are so that I didn’t have to rely on people littering the sea with bottles and jars. Alas, sea glass always comes from the man-made stuff that gets tumbled around at the bottom of the sea for ages and then washed up. There are different colours – people go to great lengths to work out the origin of it. I think mine all comes from beer bottles rather unromantically apart from a couple of mysterious pastel blue pieces. Anyway, friends, family, randoms – I have a favour to ask – if you go to the beach, can you look me out some sea glass please! And if you’re completely devoid of morals, perhaps you could take your beer bottles down to the sea front when you’re done with them and chuck them in.

Ennui!

I have diagnosed myself with occasional bouts of ennui! I’ve never heard the term before last week but it’s spot on! According to dictionary.com it’s “a feeling of listlessness and general dissatisfaction resulting from lack of activity or excitement”.  It doesn’t feel quite the same as “boredom”.  In fact, someone once told me that one can never be bored if one has stuff to do and I think I can safely say there’s never been a time when I’ve had nothing to do! Anyway, all I need now is a definition for my “glitch in the space time continuum” feeling (I think it’s a superhero sense but I’ve unfortunately been born without my super power) and I’ll be sorted!

I went to Carnevale yesterday – I’ll give you an update in a separate blog post tomorrow (though issues with WordPress mean that some of you have already had a sneak preview I think!)!

Ok, have lovely weeks all.

Ciao x

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Carnevale, Pebble Fish and Driftwood Sculptures!

Ciao all,

This week’s blog post will be short as I’ve not been up to much other than the usual. It’s the “Carnevale” period in Italy at the moment which means quite a few street parades etc. though I’ve not seen any yet. Hoping to go and see the Carnevale in Fano tomorrow and I’ll of course report back next week, I’m quite excited about it! Meanwhile, I’ve been having fun with the art stuff. I’m really into this beach recycling business at the moment and making things out of driftwood, sea glass and pebbles. I should do more paintings – I think it might be more lucrative but it’s not quite as amusing as my other projects so I’ve been slacking. Here’s some of my efforts in the last week or so…

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My house, in the middle of my street…. (is that how the Madness song goes?!)

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Sea glass and pebble tree (this has a glass front – it kept getting my reflection so I took it from a distance but then the quality as a result is poor! Does anyone have an ideas on how to do that?! I want the frame in the photo but I can’t take the glass out on this frame to take it without)

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Phone holder – it’s got a handy hole in the bottom for the phone charger and everything…

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Driftwood and sea glass mobile

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Driftwood and shell Incense holder

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Driftwood fish

On the portrait drawing front, I’ve hit a brick wall (which I’m intending to bulldoze soon). I don’t seem to be able to do a reasonable looking portrait in less than an hour and twenty minutes. The problem is in the shading, it seems to take me ages. HOWEVER, I have found a new technique which looks very promising called “Dry brush” and it’s a lot quicker. It’s basically using oil paint but a tiny, tiny bit of it. However, it’s really poorly documented. If you “Youtube” it, you’ll see some artists that have posted speeded up videos of them doing the portraits but it’s really not at all helpful! It’s not really the drawing bit that I have the problem with (though these are incredibly talented artists – it’s very clever!) – it’s the bits that don’t happen on the canvas which you can’t see that I’m confused about. The pioneer of this technique seems to be Igor Kazarin and he goes to great lengths to explain the technique but it makes absolutely no sense at all so I’m no clearer. My first attempt was blotchy and horrid. Anyway, I’ll experiment more with it this week. 

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I’ve been doing a few inspiration stones… this one of Stephen King’s is my favourite!

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Some mussel shell hearts and my bowl of inspiration stones and random fish

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Pebble Fish!

Finally, on a non artistic front, I’m seeing a couple of houses tomorrow to maybe buy so I’m really pleased about that – it’ll be interesting to see what I can get for my money here.

Anyway, that about sums up my week. Hope you’re all well!

Buona notte!

x

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