Stagger out of bed at 5am and after grabbing some toast we set off for two markets. This will be my first time in martina franca at the arty market , by myself.
Even at 5.30am its light now, which makes it not seem quite so early. I am getting dropped off while j. goes on to another market further on. Should all work like clockwork!
So we arrive in the centro storico (Historical centre) and here I am with the umbrella set up at the side of the piazza. (The handle broke off while winding it up but will worry about getting it back down later.)There is always a lovely friendly feel setting up. No one is really in a hurry and when the woman selling jewelry next to me needed to move her stand along a bit everyone helped.
I decided to be minimalist today and so have unfortunately forgotten that some of my paintings have no frames so will be difficult to display. But in my slightly chilled (literally and physically) state I figure I will think of something . Round about this time the wind gets up and blows over half my paintings. Luckily not any with glass in them , as I had them lying flat.
Anyways ,eventually ,with the aid of 2 easels, a table and lots of bits of string to tie everything down, up and around ,I am set up.
Then I have time to look around. Next to me is a man with only 5 pieces of art. They are interesting and become more so as the day goes on. There are maybe a dozen vendors with paintings and three times as many with crafts, jewelry, pottery ,all sorts of things.
Its a great chance for me to practice speaking italian and luckily the man with the interesting art is really chatty. It 's his first time at a market. As the day goes on it gets warmer and eventually everyone is set up. Not that there is an opening time anyways, or not that I am aware of.
It is so great to be part of a market in a lovely old piazza. I would have liked to have taken more photos but in the spirit of minimalism had left my good camera at home.
(There is a point to the minimalism .)
So all day I sit and watch people go by, picking out the tourists easily by the way they are dressed , stand about and chat to giacomo next door, (now I know all about his art work and how it's made and what it means.) I go for a few little "giro 's" , including coffee and then I actually sell a painting. It's the one I did the afternoon before because it had a trulli in it (Little house with conical roof) and also i had always liked the photo I used as reference ,because of the criss crossing branches . That is a great feeling .
When it gets to lunch time Giacomo says his wife is bringing lunch and would I like her to bring some for me. As I am really hungry I say thank you. His wife is lovely and the food is great. And then we have a coffee.
The afternoon drags a bit but by 5pm people are coming out for a passiegata ( walk along the street, chatting to people and wearing nice clothes.)
Some of the stall holders get together in the middle of the piazza and do half an hours traditional music and singing. During this time Giacomo buys me an ice cream because he says music is better with ice cream.
Then I go see an exhibition by a local naive painter which really moves me and I finally work out why I paint the way I do.
And I am completely overwhelmed by the whole day, and did I mention early evening light is spectacular on the surrounding buildings.
It gets colder later on and when I go to get a hot cup of tea in a cafe I get an iced tea, with ice cubes in a glass. And it was too late to say it was wrong. (Shudder!)
There are several women who sell crafts , and some day , I will speak well enough to maybe be part of their group. They are sitting, chatting and laughing and I miss belonging.
Then it is impossible to leave until well after 9 pm as the narrow streets are packed with people and the car cant get near. ( The reason for minimalism being I thought I might have to carry everything some distance !)
However the car gets there and then somehow is manouvered out between vendors packing up, people walking by and then scrapes through incredibly narrow streets and we are on our way home.
What a brilliant day. wish you'd been there.
(Have not used Giacomo's real name.)