by Melinda Gallo

Buying artwork from a local artist

I admire all of the local artists who sit out in many of the piazze in Florence to sell their work. They are usually there every day of the week from March until November. Some of them even stick around during the cold winter months as long as it doesn't rain. Not only do I admire their talent, but I also admire them for doing what they love and making a living at it.

Living in Florence :: Buying artwork from a local artist

Whenever I am walking through a piazza and I have the time, I love to take a good look at their work. I love seeing the variety of work and how prolific they each are. I consider myself lucky when I can watch them sketch or draw as I pretend to look at their finished products. I don't want to make them feel uncomfortable, but it amazes me that someone can sit outside with all that goes on and focus on creating such beauty.

My favorite artist's name is Angelo and he's in the piazza Santa Croce. There are a few others that I like, but they are near Palazzo Pitti. I love his work because not only does he paint Florence and the monuments, but he also paints colorful modern paintings too.

I have been wanting to buy something from him for a long time, and now that we're moving into a new apartment I can finally do so. Since our existing apartment is my friend Simone's place, I have felt quite reluctant to put up much of our own items because he left so many of his own in the apartment. I didn't want to ask him to take more of his things away since I know that he did try to empty the apartment as much as he could.

I walked over to the piazza Santa Croce yesterday morning in the hopes of finding Angelo. I was too busy most of the week to buy something and it rained on Saturday, so I knew he wouldn't be there. When I didn't see him yesterday, I panicked. He told me that he'd be here for the week and then he's done for the season.

When I got home, I called him. He gave me his biglietto da visita (business card) while we were talking the other day. He didn't remember who I was, but I told him which painting I was interested in. He told me to call him on Monday around lunchtime. "Se piove, sarò nello studio. Se no, sarò in piazza." (If it rains, I'll be in the studio. If not, I'll be in the piazza Santa Croce.)

I called him as he requested, and he told me that he'd be in the piazza Santa Croce all day. After lunch, I rushed out to see him. He wasn't there when I got there, but I did take a picture of his stand with his paintings.

The one painting that I liked was shown on his website. He had a similar one on display, but I didn't like it as much. We talked a little bit about the one I liked and he said that he'd redo it for me. He also offered me a good price and told me, "Ti chiamo quando è pronto, ma senza impegno." (I'll call you when it's ready, but without obligation.)

Because he was so nice and because I love his work, I wanted to buy something else. The problem was that I couldn't decide between two of his paintings. A part of me thinks I should wait until next season and another part thinks I should buy something now. We have lots of wall space in our new apartment, but there are a few other places I buy artwork from that I love too. So, I think I'll wait until I get this one that he's painting for me first.

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