Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Street Painting Madonnari - Florence, Italy

Cari Amici,

Just when I start to believe that street painting is a horrible way to help earn my living while in Florence, Italy, something charming happens while I am working. Yesterday, Monday (Memorial Day in the States, it turned out), I chose to re-create a “Madonna And Child” from 1742 by Italian artist Pompeo Batoni.

I spoke with many wonderful visitors and Florentines, and was amused when one man asked me, “If you are American, then why don’t you speak with me in English?” I responded, “Because you addressed me in Italian and also because I would like to improve my Italian language skills.”

Anyway, my friend Ernesto Brosa took these images of two charming girls who hung out with my street painting and me for a while. The first girl really enjoyed getting dirty as she colored-in the darks of the Madonna’s hand. I was happy that I still had some wet towels to help her clean up a bit afterwards. Her mother and brother watched the whole procedure. She was really cute.

The other girl was enjoying her gelato too much to want to get her hands dirty. She is from Leningrad and is perhaps another budding artist.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten to recharge the batteria on my camera and it ran out of juice during Ernesto’s shooting. And so, if you happened to have been a tourist on this evening and took an image or two of my work that night, please send a copy to me. I have no images of the work before I washed her away around mezzanotte.

Grazie mille, for your interest and support.
Ciao, ciao,

Monday, May 26, 2008

Angel Art Exhibit - Florence, Italy

Cari Amici,
What a fantastic night last Thursday was! We held the reception for the “2008 Annual Exhibition of the Angel Academy of Art” that night. Along with other staff members, I helped Thomas Galdy hang the show. This in itself was educational for me as I watched and listened to him as he generously explained his thoughts in hanging artwork.

Martinho Correia, a painter and one of the instructors at the Angel Academy, is also one of the Bandierai degli Uffizi or “The Flagwavers of the Uffizi.” Although the house had been packed for about an hour, once we all heard that familiar drum beat in Florence, Italy, everyone followed the sound outside to watch Martinho and some of his fellow bandierai throw Florentine flags in the air back and forth in a lively performance. It was quite the show on Via San Niccolò.

[Photos of the bandierai were taken on my camera by my dear friend Hélène Delmaire.]

In the crowd outside I spotted my new friend Caitlin Andrews. I met Caitlin and her friend Teo Ninković while I was drawing in the streets of Florence as a madonnari. Although I had not heard her sing before, I invited her to sing at the reception and Angel’s director Lynne Barton was delighted to invite her as well. Caitlin did not disappoint with her animated performance in front of the delicious still lifes from the Angel Academy students. I will try to include video on my blog later.

I am afraid that, as in most gatherings of huge amounts of people, I did not get to see or speak with many that I would have liked to and I did not take enough images either. So much was going on and there was lots of positive energy to be absorbed! With her permission, I share with you an image of Hélène and me in front of one of her drawings in carboncino on exhibit. We unknowingly both wore our hair in an off-centered ponytail. Fun night! Thank you for reading and sharing it with me in this way.

PS. Buon Compleanno e baci, Hafiza! (25 Maggio)

Angel Academy of Art
Martinho Correia’s Art Site
Martinho’s Blog
Caitlin Andrews' Blog