Sunday, July 31, 2011

two markets, a thunder storm and a portrait in rice

Going brunette by accident is not recommended. It wasn't even that I had misunderstood the directions on the box( in italian), but after happpily being reddish for the last two or three years it is a shock . And I am in the process of changing back, I hope , as I write this.

So , it was a dark haired person who staggered out of bed ,oops, jumped out of bed, at 5am yesterday morning. And after putting on twice the normal amount of make up to somehow counteract the dark effect , it was off to market .

The first market was in Ostuni. It is lovely and on the way you drive past hundreds of trullis. They are so odd. What with all the stone dykes and little pointy houses it is easy to believe you are in some strange fairy tale land.

The market is in the park today. It's a pretty setting but a little bit distant from the centre of town. My little ray of darkness who drives to markets assures me it will be a "blank "waste of time. However I like the social aspect ; meeting people and chatting to the other stallholders.

So far no one has looked at me with a "what has she done to her hair look". I may have inadvertently forgotten to mention that the brunette is not completely er evenly coloured.

Passing swiftly on.

So all is going fine , sun shining , people strolling past, someone buys one of my prints, some of my market friends are here and the time passes. I even manage to fit in a walk to the historic centre and an ice cream.

Then clouds start to appear. This is not Scotland, this is the south of Italy in July! I never even considered bad weather. Eventually when It looks like it really will rain I pack up and get ready to leave for the art market in Martina Franca. By the time we are half way there it is raining, there is a torrent of water running down the road and it turns into a full blown storm with thunder and lightening. So arriving in Martina we just go for lunch and listen to the rain outside.

I have been looking forward to doing this market all month. It is the only one I do which is arts and crafts. But it stops raining about the same time we finish lunch.

5 stall holders have turned up. Oh dear! But being sturdy, determined and desperate the market sets up in the "centro storico". There is a man selling furniture made out of antique wood, a girl next to me selling jewelry which she makes, another guy has pottery with flowers and another some sort of ceramics. Gradually more people arrive and set but but there are probably only 15 stands at most.

(Must take a break here to check hair. mmm! well I am now a very dark auburn . It is my son's wedding on Saturday so it does matter a bit. At my daughter's wedding I had blonde hair and I was trying to straighten it and make it loook all glossy and nice and a chunk of hair frizzled up, stuck straight in the air and I had to cut it off. I have a photo to prove it. Possibly I should go to a hairdresser but I always think I 'll just go for the natural look! whatever that is!)

Back to the market. What a let down after the last art market! But I was there and I had gone to a lot of effort to have as many paintings of the area as possible and as many prints, so I was looking good.

The nice smiley man who had been next to me at the last market turned up having a stand round the corner this time but came over to say hello. Then an older man came by and got talking , disappeared and then returned with a small picture of a trulli made using rice and a photo of his daughter (beautiful girl) hugging someone famous. He wanted me to make a portrait from this photo using rice. I was obliged to tell him that would be too difficult for me but he should try it. I look forward to seeing it next time.

Then there was a procession with hundreds of people, two bands and lots of people in uniforms and a statue of Jesus on the cross lit from below, which made it look uncomfortably real.

Lots of people stopped by and looked , took cards and walked on.

A woman stopped to talk and told me she had been a model for an artist from Naples. It was a long time ago she said, when she was young and beautiful.

I got talking to one of the stall holders who used to fix pianos and then was a florist. Market people are interesting, I know one who is a poet, several are artists and musicians. I get a chance to practise using italian so everything I am told is subject to me actually understanding correctly.

By this time I had drunk 4 coffees to keep me going and was missing my chair which I had left under a tree in the park in Ostuni.

Gradually it got darker and not having any lights with me I packed up a lot of my stuff and waited to get picked up. I am often scared in the car as we drive round impossibly narrow streets full of people who are very casual about getting out of the way, so we got lost and ended up driving the wrong way through a street market further on.

Arriving home at about 1am , having earned a whole 4 euros over about 15 hours it wasn't too good. (But not as bad as my hair!)

Then I got woken up this morning by fireworks about 6 am and when I drove up to my studio the sun was shining and there was a brass band playing. And I did sell 4 paintings from my studio last week. And now my hair is respectable, (more or less) and I am off to Scotland on wednesday to see all my family and go to the wedding and then the Feste is on when I get back.

AndI did do two markets!

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