I have been looking forward to writing this post as I am finally painting the people of Pisticci. I have been wanting to do this since I moved here, and I have painted 20 – 30 portraits but I really wanted to paint lots of people.I am always seeing faces young and old and longing to paint them. Only I have been a bit shy to ask, which is probably silly really as the men I painted in this painting saw me with my camera and said “Take our photo”. So I did.
The other thing that held me back has been I wasn’t sure I would be good enough. But now I think I am good enough, not brilliant, but adequate. ( And besides if I don’t get a move on and do it there may not be enough time or alternatively I could still be wondering if I am good enough when I am 90.)
So this painting began around the time of the Carnevale when I was out taking photos. I was walking past the fruit market and the gentleman on the left of the painting shouted for me to take a photo. So I took two . The men were standing outside what must a small club or similar and the man in the middle was carrying his chair out to sit in the street as happens all the time here. There are always people, mostly men sitting chatting and watching everything that’s going on.
It was a few weeks later after I had painted the musicians (also from Pisticci) and I was wondering what to paint next. Flicking through my photos for possible painting I found the two photos. I liked the arrangement, I loved the faces and expressions and I liked the brickwork behind. So I thought I would give it a go.
It was not too difficult to draw initially and I decided I would keep the chair in it and make the walking sticks cross so that there was some connection between two of the men. I didn’t even notice the shadow in the window till I started to paint.
After covering the whole canvas roughly, I got a little fed up, as I could see it was going to be a lot of work. That was when I decided to do pencil sketch of each of the men. Part procrastination, well mostly procrastination thinly disguised as making preliminary sketches. However I was really pleased with the sketches and after putting them on facebook it looked like quite a few people recognised them. So much encouraged I got started again.
It was not an even progression where I did some painting every day as I was in the process of buying a new scooter which took a whole lot of too-ing and fro-ing, So it took a lot longer than I thought, but I finished it yesterday.
Again I put it on facebook and it is so encouraging for me to get lots of likes and encouraging comments. But not only that because this morning I sold the sketch of the middle man to his daughter. I am so pleased.