Ciao a tutti!
Buongiorno all. I hope you’re all good. In this week’s gripping update, I bring you The Grand Exhibition Plan, The Never-ending Cold and Tips for Dealing with Children’s Requests…
The Grand Exhibition Plan
This week, I have mostly been doing art, art and more art! The potential exhibition draws ever closer. If this contract for the exhibition studio materialises then I’ve decided to give it a go. You only live once. It’ll cost €300 for 6 months but I think it’ll be open only for 3 months during summer giving me 3 months to try and at least make my money back. Quite a good little challenge really! I feel a bit like the Del Boy of the art world. My plan is as follows:
– Exhibition Plan Part Uno – Paintings: Have a sort of “nautical” theme to my exhibition pieces. Specifically:
- 10 paintings, primarily seascapes given that we’re by the coast here and a significant portion of the Italians seem to be obsessed with the beach and have beach houses… I’ll aim to sell them for €100 each. To be honest, I imagine I’ll only have space for about 4 or 5 – if that, but obviously they’ll be selling like hot cakes so er…, good to have back up. I started a painting last week – I shall finish it and post it here next week!
– Exhibition Plan Part Due – Driftwood, Shell & Stone art:
- 10 driftwood sculptures / pieces.
- Stone painting (I know. It does sound odd. However, it looks like quite a quick, fun and relaxing thing to do when I’ve got a bit of time!).
- Stuff with shells!
- If I’m any good, take some photos of the above and get some prints made (thank you to my friend who suggested that one).
– Exhibition Plan Part Tre – Portraits: I want to use part of the exhibition space for drawing portraits. I hope it will be a good way of getting people into the exhibition so they might look around and stay in there and hopefully buy other stuff. I’ll aim to sell a portrait for €20 each. Specifically:
- Get 5 or 6 really good “demonstration” portraits of famous people done in different mediums.
- Practice, practice, practice – try and do some portrait work every day.
- This week’s attempts below excluding one truly horrible self portrait. Let’s play “guess the person?” – submit guesses in the comments below! Free portrait for anyone that gets them all. The two men are Italian actors so folks back home, I suspect you won’t stand a chance anyway!
– Exhibition Plan Part Quattro: Get an art website set up.
– Exhibition Plan Part Cinque: Get business cards printed (if not for the art, at least I can give them out to people that keep asking about English teaching!)
Selling a couple of paintings and a handful of portraits doesn’t sound that daunting eh? I wonder if I can do it?!
Other art related news
I’ve finally worked out what to do with Pinterest after having an account for a year. (For those that don’t know, Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website). I used to trawl the net copying and pasting images into a document to use for inspiration at a later date but Pinterest is MUCH more convenient! Alas, I hadn’t amended my settings so my poor friends have been receiving what must now be hundreds of Driftwood and Stone inspiration “pins”! If you’re interested in looking at the kinds of things I’m looking at doing for the exhibition, then I suspect you can “follow” me (on Pinterest. Not literally!). Having said that, I’m still learning and haven’t worked out entirely how you would go about that but please feel free to give it a go!
I found an equivalent to B&Q! It’s called OBI. I am THRILLED. I spent ages in there this week and even better, it has ART STUFF! Woohoo! It’s the first place I’ve seen around here with canvasses and paint. Admittedly expensive canvasses and a shocking selection of paint but still, it’s a relief to know that it exists!
Work and The Never-Ending Cold.
I’ve been doing a fair bit of work for my language school on their website this week. My task was to just check it through to make sure the English makes sense but there is a LOT of information on it. It’s been quite fun really. It’s paid for half my rent this month so that’s not bad going.
I have yet another cold, possibly my 89th in 6 months. I think the schools I teach at are breeding grounds for this stuff and I just haven’t built up a resiliency yet. When my voice actually gets back to normal, people will wonder what on earth has happened – most people who know me here have only known me with a husky voice. However, I’m determined to not let it get to me and went out for a nice meal last night at a very cool restaurant in Ancona – Mangiare, Bere, Uomo, Donna.
Return to Bureaucracy – The Case of the Tessera Sanitaria
Well, as anticipated, I did not succeed in getting a Tessera Sanitaria, the Italian health card which seems to be the equivalent of an E111 in the UK. I’ve spoken to the woman there 4 times over the months to try and get this card. It was quite a good mark of “progress” given I can vaguely understand her now whereas before she could have been speaking Chinese! Anyway, I needed to have a contract with the school to show that I’m earning and then she assures me I can get the card. I emailed the school knowing full well there would be no chance they’d send me a contract and within an hour, they sent me a contract! Just like that! Amazing! (It’s a shame they’ve not been quite so efficient with my salary.)
Next week I’m going to Rome for a long weekend which I’m looking forward to – €18 return for what will be 7 hours of train travel. What excellent value! I think it might be cheaper than renting a house. I’m considering just living on the train.
What’s a bit odd?
Fellow elementary / junior school teachers: Is it normal for children to obsessively ask whether they can use felt-tip pens to colour stuff in?!?! Every single child will run up to me (despite my constant instructions for them to stay in their seats) and ask/shout at me about using “colori a spirito”. Sometimes I’ll be standing up at the front talking to the class and a child will come up and pull on my jumper until I stop, thinking it must be a life or death situation, and then they ask me if it’s OK if they use a blue pen to write with. I’ve been trying to find a satisfying way of saying “I really don’t care” in Italian but there’s nothing (not that I can use with children at least). There’s only the equivalent of “it’s not important” or “I’m not interested”. I really miss “I don’t care”. I have to make do with supplementing “it’s not important” with a mocking laugh and hand gestures!
I really miss “I can’t be bothered” as well!!! There are lots of discussion forums on that one on the Italian Word Reference site and nothing seems to be very satisfying. If anyone knows how I can say that, I’ll be eternally grateful!
Ok, have lovely weekends and tune in next week for more info.