Taking Art Classes in Florence is a Dream Come True

Jul 10, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, and Studio Arts major at University of Colorado - Boulder, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Allyson writes about fulfilling her passion and practice of art in a prominent and historic art city like Florence.


My favorite class here in Florence this summer by far has been my drawing class. I love art, which is why I picked it up as another major. I am so passionate about my art and so getting to practice my art in the art capital of the world was just a dream come true.

Ponte Vecchio ArtworkTrying pen and ink drawings of the Ponte Vecchio.

In the class we got to not only explore art practices in the classroom and studio, but we also took outings all around the city to explore and find sculptures to base our drawing on. It was a great way to practice our techniques and also a way for us explore the wonderful city that we are in. Jaime was our professor and she did a wonderful job. She was so passionate about everything, including whatever she taught us, that it always made us more interested in the topics. She was always someone I enjoyed listening to.

Some of my favorite things we did was when we took a trip during class to the Palazzo Vecchio and looked at all of the sculptures and tried to recreate them on paper. Another favorite of mine was when we went to Santa Croce and sat on the steps to draw the buildings around it. Practicing art in a city like Florence allows you to truly get involved in the city by exploring all around it.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Summer2018_From Allyson Barnes - Artwork of AmsterdamAn artwork to show the streets of Amsterdam.

I was really able to explore new things in professor Jaime’s classes. I was able to try things I had never done before which I believe, in the end, made me a much better artist. I was able to try pen and ink drawings (the Ponte Vecchio picture above) and even integrate watercolors into my drawings making them more colorful and dynamic as seen in my final for the class of the streets of Amsterdam in color.

We also had sketchbook assignments to keep up with outside of class which was really good for keeping us involved and thoughtful about our art process. Keeping up with a sketchbook is something I have never had to do and it was a really awesome way to encourage me to get out and see things. It helped push me to go to the Boboli Gardens, the Uffizi Gallery, and even to go see The David one more time.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Summer2018_From Allyson Barnes - Doryphoros TorsoThis is a photo of Doryphoros' torso from one of our class outings. I did many drawings on this form.

Being able to explore the city during class time was such a good opportunity for me. It is something you don’t really get to do, at least not with that perspective, and I loved every bit of it. Professor Jaime was always there to give us advice on how to approach our drawings, along with telling us the history or story behind the works that we are looking at. I loved being able to study art that has been around for so long. It made me feel a connection to it. And it also allowed me to feel more free in my artwork by allowing me to explore the techniques that have already put into place and with the encouragement of professor Jaime, you can do anything.

All of the assignments we were given had purpose and we were able to complete them whilst learning about ourselves and the processes in which we go through to achieve good art.

Thanks Allyson!

Allyson's journey continues every Tuesday so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Florence Program

Topics: Florence, Italy, Academics Abroad, Art Abroad