Monday, October 10, 2011

bored, bored , bored

Am writing this because I am so bored! Sitting in a street market , in the piazza and there are no people around.
Oops, there's  one. No, he's gone!
It's cold, which is why instead of teeming with people out for the sunday passiegiatta the piazza is deserted.
I am huddled at the back of my partners stand, which he kindly lent me.(Mine's looked like something I had made in order to keep the rain out and the legs were steadily caving in due to serious gusts of wind.) 
I am wearing two tee shirts, polo neck jumper, thick cardigan, wool jacket, scarf, woolly hat , jeans, 2 pairs of socks and to top it all off a large lined waterproof jacket I use for on my scooter. (one of the other stall holders told me she is wearing 3 pairs of trousers.) The temperature last sunday reached 30 degrees. tonight its about 11.
You have to be hardy and optimistic to do markets. Most of the people doing this markets slept in their cars last night. One family have 100 kilometres to drive home tonight. Others have at least as far if not further. And before that they need to take down their stands , pack up all their stock and load it into their car or van.
Despite this the man next to me selling frames and prints remains unfailingly cheerful. He  sold me two frames yesterday and cut my paintings to fit , put them in the frames and put hangers on  , all for the price of the frames.
He sings a lot.
The man selling leather goods, which I think he makes ,is always entertaining. He is  wearing a rainbow striped woolly hat with earflaps and has a pipe thing which makes bird noises which every now and then when presumably he's bored ,he plays.
Have just looked up from writing this and can see one of my paintings hanging on the wall in the cafe across the piazza. Nice feeling!
Although this is an antiques market there are more non antiques than antiques.

It has an eclectic mix from antiques," old things", books, cds and dvds,new watches all for 3 euros, lots of jewellery, frames with prints, woolly hats, secondhand trilbies, leather belts and wallets, tie sets and paintings.
There is something for everyone and at all prices.
Looking up again and there are a few people strolling around. It's just after 8pm. Presumably people are sensibly staying indoors.
I think the camomile tea I just drank is having a mellowing effect. It was preceded by a prosecco to cheer me up and before that a coffee to keep me going. I forgot to buy any food  today so have discovered that cheese slices, found in studio fridge,  put between crisps make interesting small sandwiches. Have a feeling that my stomach may eventually protest at this interesting diet but will deal with that later.
Just had someone looking at my stock.
I have a design/plan for my stand. I put a large painting of Pisticci in a prominent place , then some smaller new paintings with local people in them. That is usually enough to stop people and they come over and look. There has been a lot of discussion about who the old men are sitting on the bench and also who the boy on the bike is. People actually go and fetch others to check it out.
Next to these I have a book of photos of portraits open at a page with a well known local person , then some past examples of my work ,(mostly of Pisticci) and finally my prints, which at 5 euros are affordable.
Obviously only a few people buy but the process works.
Still not many people about.
Oh no , it's only 8.20pm. I thought I had been writing for ages.
Another person stopped to look at the Pisticci painting.
I am watching to see if anyone else is packing up and then I will start.
But no one is so far.
I am lucky because I have a plastic sheet at both sides of the stand which is keeping the wind mostly off. Its weighed down down by 2 very heavy weights and a 5litre container full of water. The container is moving back and forward with the wind. Compared to the summer with warmth and lots of customers this is horrible. It's as well that I am investigating other avenues for selling. In fact one vendor spent 15 minutes explaining why I should sell paintings on ebay and then I wouldn't need to stand outside in the cold  getting bored but could be nice and cosy at home in front of the computer. Taking his own advice he packed up and left at lunch time.
The leather man is making bird noises again.
A nice man says "Buona sera," and asks the price of  a painting. I practice saying 70 euros without  sounding apologetic. Think I sounded convincing. He didn't buy it but it was good to speak to someone.
Still no one packing.
Only 8.30pm.
The gusts of wind are getting stronger and have just blown my chair over when I stood up to look out.
The windchimes on another stand sound alarmingly like breaking glass.
I have had on occasion all my paintings blow over like a pack of cards. A lot of tape , string and judicious placing is needed to avoid this. And sometimes that still isn't enough.
Everyone looks cold.
Wish I had some chocolate. I have some prosecco left in the bottle but too much makes me bad tempered, ( Or at least more frank and forthright than is wise.)
Someone has reversed their van up beside their stall. Fingers crossed that they will be packing.
Three men stoppped by and were very complimentary about my Pisticci painting. That was warming.
The leather man is making bird noises again.
Is that the sound of folding tables I hear?
Yup! The organiser is packing. Hurray!
In the summer markets finish at midnight.
Another  2 gentlemen looking at my P. painting.
Have sold , over the 2 days of the market, one small painting and seven prints. Unfortunately after buying the woolly hat and socks,  a tin to put money for bills in, drinks  and paying for my stand I have about 5 euros left.
Lets pack.
Sitting in the car waiting to drive away I am a little sad. The umbrellas are being folded up , people are packing and saying goodbye, the piazza will soon be empty and  it feels like not just the end of the market but the end of summer.


  1. Yes, you are molto brava to paint and live in Italy. You are living everyone's fantasy!
    Yet, in every fantasy, rain and cold do creep in, sit down to eat a cold sandwich and bemoan the life of an artist.

    I grew up in Venosa, in the province of Potenza, and emigrated to California back in 1959. Your descriptions take me back, so long ago.

    I'm so glad to have run into you.

  2. Sounds like the same day we are having here today. It's also the end of winter here in NYC. I'm glad you got 5 euro left over after your rainy weekend, it's better than -5 euros.

  3. yes and a woolly hat( wearing it now) and woolly sock things (wearing in bed)