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  • Simone Richter

Day 5 & weekend - Florence is art on speed.

Good morning incredible people, I hope you are well. Wherever you are.

I guess I could need this beginning I used in the first days of writing this diary blog.

I love you.

So, the weekend has been quite a ride. One could say I had a lot of time in comparison to the days when I am at the studio. On the other hand...

Painting the whole day takes a lot of my mental and physical capacity. And it felt like I will not experience enough of the city, again. I feel torn (do I still?) between enjoying the old master's style portrait class, learning as much as possible to nurture my art, and taking in this city.

To acknowledge my inner artist, who still is in compensation mode for the times we had no time, money, strength, or situation for doing art. Wow. Writing this feels so true. Acknowledging my inner artist on this scale, in this proportion does nearly feel like a forbidden fruit. Am I really allowed to? Am I really worthy? More about that later.

Florence, I just wrote on my Insta - while laying sleepless in my bed - is art on speed. Or any other hallucinogenic drug. Which I am an addict of.

On Friday in class, I felt really low energy. That might be a result of not eating breakfast, the fumes in class, or just plain old overwhelm. In the first half of the day, I was "waiting" to go on with my painting. Rendering a few things. Waiting for the hourly visit of our instructor. Wanting to going further in the process we learned before. But it felt like I had to wait for the others or at least for the teacher's go.. After Lunch, I got that approval and then I had to speed up because I wanted to finish early to see the dome of the Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral). I felt stressed, not good enough, and made to wait. Unpleasant. I could / did not give all to the painting which I clearly see in the result (be gentle while looking). It just does not make sense to rush anything. Next time I will be more decisive in what I do. Not trying to do both things at the same time. Because, truly, it does not matter whether I finish. Every single minute I spent with art in full presence will improve my art, and nurture my style, nurture my self.

This time I still finished early because who am I, what is my art in comparison to the abundance of art swirling, lurking, sitting, standing, running, climbing, and dancing around in this town? And I still wanted to be "good" in class. I took a deep breath. We cannot have all the things at the same time. I really wanted to see the Duomo, the inside of this building which fills me with awe and joy. Every. Single. Time. I see it.

The ticket process for many places here is a bit weird. For the Cathedral and all the surrounding buildings and places, we bought an extensive ticket. They all last 3 days and most venues close at 4_30. So because of class, I could just book this ticket for a Friday. I have to say we had a blast throughout the weekend, looking t all this incredible art. And we did not see half. The wonderful thing about Kristian and me is that we can tell when we had enough (he is better at that, which helps me a lot) and then just take a rest.

The Duomo with its wall painting was so incredible that I nearly cried. I really cried later when I realized that one is not allowed to stand and look and marvel at the painting. This humongous incredible piece of art. One needed to keep walking on the balcony which brought me so close to this painting from the 15th century. This is ridiculous. Fortunately, they did not have any time restrictions on the bell tower and the Baptistry which are equally impressive. We looked at them yesterday. On Saturday we tried to access any of the venues during lunch time (because I had to have one slow morning) and were confronted with long queues. Being already so full of art we decided to wait a day, and just go sketching.

On Sunday morning we work up extra early to be among the first ones in the queue to the bell tower, which opens at 8:15. And what can I say....(See for yourself in the picture (and on my Insta) It was the best idea ever and we were rewarded with the most incredible light.

After an hour in this wonderful building, we went for breakfast. And luckily we found a partially vegan place which had an incredible view towards the Duomo.

Number 2 then was the Baptistry. I did not imagine the beauty and perfection of this space. The whole roof (also a dome) is covered in golden mosaic which depicts different (all the) scenes from the Bible. I took nearly 1.0000000 photos. After that, we went home for a rest. Because we are clever :-) The afternoon was then filled with going to another sight and sketching. I am addicted to sketching. Ja, as well.

And now, maybe I am too tired to sleep. I am really enjoying writing here. Maybe it is also helpful to get all my thoughts out of my head on this digital piece of paper. And maybe I can sleep a little after I have written all this.

Turning back to the beginning of this text (and I always feel that there is so much more I could tell you) I have to confess that we are pondering about staying longer. To get rid of this tension of having no time for Florence while doing my art class. I found a flight that is not crushing the bank too much. Now we just need the "go" from our landlord. And that would be so cool. And scary. Because, who am I that I allow myself to stay another week after this long time of spoiling my inner artist. But I am not listening to these doubts.

I will spoil you until you believe you are worthy of everything. I will spoil you until you believe you are loved. I will spoil you until you know you are good enough.

See you tomorrow, guys. I really have to sleep now.

Tomorrow's first lesson will be online. A class taught by the Maestro (Michael Angel, the founder of the academy, who is due to Covid not coming to the academy in person anymore.) Let's see how this goes. I am excited to meet him - even though it will be just online.

I feel thankful, privileged, blessed.

Love from Florence,


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