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Dancing with Pencils: My Transformative Experience at the Florence Academy of Art

Spring is a time of renewal and growth, and this year, I had the privilege of welcoming the season in Florence, Italy. For two weeks, I immersed myself in the classical methods of art at the world-renowned Florence Academy of Art, a prestigious Atelier school known for its rigorous training in academic drawing.

The Florence Academy of Art follows the traditions of the 19th-century European ateliers, emphasizing the importance of drawing from life. I chose this academy because of its reputation for excellence and its commitment to preserving the techniques of the Old Masters.

During my time at the Academy, we worked on four drawings: two short studies and two longer, more detailed pieces. The studio was set up with 13 easels arranged in a semi-circle, each providing a slightly different perspective of the model standing on the stage. It was fascinating to see how, despite our unique vantage points, we all completed captivating drawings through a series of 20-minute segments.

My experience at the Florence Academy of Art not only refreshed my perspective on classical art techniques but also deepened my appreciation for the artistic process that transcends modern conveniences like electricity and ready-to-use paints. Many artists at the Academy continue to blend classical dry pigments with oil and draw or paint from life under the soft glow of natural light.

For those curious to learn more, I highly recommend exploring the works of Simone Olivia Moritz, Stephen Bauman, and recent FAA graduate Daniel Zalla. These artists showcase innovative ways of incorporating classical techniques into modern art, creating stunning and thought-provoking pieces.

Upon returning to Trentino, I was inspired to dive back into my studio, potentially initiating a new series of portraits. As an artist, I find myself captivated by the freedom of abstract work, and I strive to meld figurative portraiture with abstraction, creating a dance of form and color. This fusion of styles allows me to express my unique vision while paying homage to the classical techniques I learned at the Florence Academy of Art.

In conclusion, my two weeks at the Florence Academy of Art were transformative. I not only gained technical skills but also formed connections with fellow artists and developed a new appreciation for the beauty of form. I am grateful for this opportunity and the people I met along the way. As I continue my artistic journey, I will carry the lessons learned and the memories made at the Florence Academy of Art, forever shaping my approach to art and life.

Join me on this exciting journey!

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