Eating in Museum Cafes
Sorry sorry sorry, I was going to write about being in Florence, but I spent most of the time just being in Florence, and not thinking about my life back home. Except for missing my cats.
Now I am in Cincinatti. I am also going to the museum, but I am mainly here visiting my husband. He's working at the Cincinatti Art Museum this summer and we are alternating ever other week for visits.
Starting with Florence. It's pretty amazing. You should go if you are a total art history nerd (me), a college student (drinking age is 18) or confused about where to go on a trip (anyone!) You will always find somewhere beautiful and majestic to just hang and read or look at your phone, which I saw of a lot of. (It's fucking Florence!) Dairy is a must - I had to let go of my almond milk in everything diet and then proceed to eat LOTS OF DAIRY, mostly cappuccinos, gelato and cheese. I was very happy about it. And everything is always organic! :D
So five pounds and lots of drawing later I am back in the states. I like drawing! Also, drawing from life is hard! I did a lot of drawing from marbles, like in college, and had so much fun. But this post is about eating, not drawing! kind of both?
Drawing in Florence almost always requires a break around 2 PM where you get to eat a bready sandwich and have an cappuncino and an Aperol Spritz, or Campari Spritz and some sort o sandwich that you do not feel guilty AT ALL about, because you are in Italy! Campari and wine are a part of your natural diet. Also, it's very relaxing eating in a museum in Florence, because everyone is on vacation, and if someone is being a rude asshole to the wait staff, the wait staff puts them in their place. And then there is buzzed drawing! (It's really not that fun, I don't recommend it.)
Honestly, I think I was just so happy being around the greatest hits of Renaissance Art. Botticelli! Alter pieces! Raphael! Pontormo!!!! Di Vinci!!! Michaelangelo! They are all there! Also, I got to see a newly cleaned Pontormo at Palazzo Pitti that was fucking incredible. I almost started crying. Here it is.
That was the best part. Seeing paintings in their natural homes how they were supposed to be seen. I went to San Marco three times to see the frescoes because of their glowy glowy-ness. Those guys painted with crazy colors. They looked as if they could be painted today. No gross browns, no yucky grays. Just pure light. Here are some photos from the Brancacci Chapel, San Marco and Santa Maria Novella. But when you get to work with pure, clear light, of course everything is illuminated perfectly.
Anyway, the frescos were amazing, and made me watch to ditch all of underpainting all together (I have a dumb transparent red oxide one I had to paint over.) I think being back in the painting motherland re-inspired my color sense, and painting technical stuff. I love bright clarity. It gave me confidence to forgo the underpainting (I can figure out tone, I don't need it! Just squint your eyes and make everything smoosh-y)
Here are some of my favorite drawings from the museums
Then back in my studio for three weeks, painting, blah blah blah, painting, blah blah blah, will write about later, and now I am in Cincy!
I came to the museum to draw and listen to my amazing audiobook, "The Identiclas" by Elin Hilderbrand (Two Islands and two identical twins that switch lives! On Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket! Chick Lit at it's finest!!!!!!) and draw. I got to see an Edmonia Lewis sculpture for the first time in my life which was really exciting. I wrote my college entrance essay for MICA on her. so it was pretty awesome when I saw one of her pieces in real life. Here is the piece I studied today.
I took photos so I could draw more from them. I love her so much, she's so inspirational. She was one of the first Women of Color to receive international recognition for her art. She lived in Rome in the 1800's, she's fantastic.
After a lovely morning looking at one of my idol's sculptures and listening to chick- lit. I went to eat at the cafe. I spoil myself with museum cafe eating. I feel like such a grown up in my bumble bee scarf and journal. But people were SO mean the to wait staff! Nothing puts me off more than when people are rude to waiters/servers. Honestly, the staff is not there to ruin your day, they are just trying to feed you and and get all of their tickets right. I sat by the register at the bar and saw all of the mean, scowl-y people demanding change for their 100's and complaining about their cheeseburgers. ugh.
Maybe people were just having a bad day, and that's why they were being mean, so I won't judge which experience is better based on the tourists. Anyway, here is my typical lunch at either place!
Italian Museums: Lunch = cappucino, mostly bread and cheese sandwich, wine, a tiny water bottle, gelato or pastry, no fruit or vegetables
American Museums: Lunch = Salad, chips, tiny piece of bread, Diet coke, water
I'm not sure why I don't drink wine at lunch in America? Maybe I get all puritanical and American think I can't drink before dinner? It's true though! I do think that! In Italy you can have wine with lunch :D
So now, back at home and back to pre-Italy body. With Kitties and GBBO. Will post what I have been working on in the studio next week.