Angus Stewart's Breadalbane Street Studio, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland
Italian Paintings
These are some of the paintings I did during my stay in Florence. They were all carried out on site, which was at times rather difficult because of the problem of being interrupted, so I was pleased with both the number and quality of paintings I managed to do during my stay.
I have made a number of visits to Florence, the first in 1980 when I spent two months painting around the city. The architecture was great to paint and I did little else until I met a painter called Patrick Hamilton. He was kind enough to let me stay in his cavernous warren of a home down a narrow street in the heart of Florence. He ran a very successful studio where regular life classes would take place.
The time at Patrick's was memorable for the work done and the people met. Patrick had the knack of making the ordinary interesting. He was always making new friends. I remember him gathering people as he walked back from the studio at lunchtime. On his walk home he looked for interesting people who he would invite home for a simple lunch of bread, cheese and wine. They were usually delighted to break from the hard itinerary of touring museum and churches. That meal would probably remain in there memory longer than some of the tours they were on.
At Christmas Patrick would prepare a meal for about thirty people. On Christmas Day he would go out on the streets and find the guests. The idea of visiting Florence for Christmas sounds a good one. As it approaches the horrible realisation dawns that everywhere will be shut for the holiday. These visitors have a particular look which is difficult to summaries but it could be said that they do not look entirely happy. I can only imagine how they felt when approached by a tall, white bearded Englishman with an invitation to a Christmas dinner. It would probably have come as a great relief. Patrick said that these dinners were a great success and I should imagine that was the case.
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