As an artist moving to Florence, everyone told me, that I couldn’t be luckier and that this was the place to learn how to paint realistically. As an abstract artist, I was thrilled about the possibility of picking up a new skill and trying my hand at realism. Having left a fine art degree mid-course in the UK, I thought it would be easy to enroll in another art course and use my existing credits to save a couple of years apprenticeship. But this was not to be. As most art colleges in Florence did not accept my British credits, my only option was to enroll in a long, drawn out four-year course, and with three young children in tow, I knew that this was not to be either. So I put my ‘realistic’ dreams on the back burner and concentrated on my own colourful, abstract work.