Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Street Painting Florence Italy



I was finally successful in receiving my permit to make drawing with pastels as a madonnara on Via Calimala here in Florence, Italy. My first two times street painting occurred last September, shortly after starting this blog. On Monday the 25th, I “painted” for the third time.

I madonnari have some pretty good pointers on how to work the crowd for the best tips. They put a lot of psychology in the choice of subject matter and even what time of day to have certain elements. Their choices are very human and make a lot of sense (and at the same time – ha!). However, this time, I chose to ignore all that. I do not want to give up any morning time with Italian model Valentina, so I arrived to start working around 13:45.

Then, I chose to depict the nude male torso, from the back view. Part of our permit regulations is that we do not introduce any original drawings. So, I decided to draw a work that is attributed to Jacques Louis David with a supposed subject of “Patroclus.” The Maestro John Angel told me today that this painting is too romantic to be done by David. He thinks it was done by an unknown contemporary, and my art history knowledge was not enough to be able to share more with you.

Anyway, I was relatively pleased with this effort and fortunate that the weather was not colder. But the night had mixed reviews. On the one hand, it was good practice and I was given many “Complimenti.” I was surprised at how many people told me they loved seeing the male nude figure.

I also met a lot of charming people. However, my body is sore now and most people did not tip at all! The other two artists left because they said that the money earned today was not worth the effort. I held out some hope until I just could not stand waiting for anyone, so . . . I worked from about 13:45 to 20:00.

4 comments:

Rodney said...

BONUS, hey wow. its great to be able to put your art on the sidewalk but to get money too. super. where do i sign up,lol...Rodney

Kelly Borsheim said...

very funny, Rodney. We pay for permits, but this is hard work (my muscles are STILL sore!) and we depend on the generousity of those who admire the efforts. The other two artists that night left because the money was so bad this day, and I also left two hours later, during the beginning of the dinner hours, because I was tired and getting cold. This is not an easy life and I was surprised that even some Fiorentinos thought that the city paid us to entertain the tourists. hmmmmmmm. And maybe Mondays are not so good, but Monday is the day that I will be doing the work of the madonnari through the end of March. I will probably keep posting images from this.

Amber P said...

BEAUTIFUL Kels. I'm blown away, even knowing how wonderful your work is. I'm curious though, what is considered a good day in way of street wages? If you don't mind...

Richard Womack said...

Very nice,through a mighty strenght.