This week the rain has set in. We had a few wild days of storms that brought in some unexpected ice and snow in the valley. It’s rare…we get it about once a year and although beautiful, we tend to get very wet snow, high tides at the beaches, then rain and wind, then limbs down and power outages. So much for our winters here in the Northwest.
All this gloomy weather has me dreaming of some wonderful summer days I spent in Venice. As I have told you before, I was lucky enough to study fine art for my Master’s Degree in Italy…a whole year of roaming around and studying my favorite European country. Headquartered in Florence (as if that wasn’t blissful enough), I was perfectly situated to explore all the wonderfully diverse regions surrounding Tuscany. Venice is found in the region called the Veneto, and besides Venice, it includes towns like Padua or Padova, the famous University town founded in 1222, Soave – a famous wine district, and Verona, home to those star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliette. Verona is known for its summer opera in the Roman arena and Juliette’s actual balcony. But for me, the crown jewel is Venice or Venezia.
I visited Venice on a number of occasions, once during Carnival (which was a mistake…it rained, flooded, and was filled with tourists jostling so close together I worried about pickpockets!). But in the summertime, it is unmatchable for enchantment. The clear blue skies, the gondolas, the beautiful homes on the canals, the reflections…and ahhh the light. Mostly during this gloomy time up here, I dream about the light.
I have taken a lot of pictures of Venice, but none of them seem to do it justice. Even the old postcards don’t quite produce the romance and nostalgia I have for the place.
I guess I am most fascinated with the canals, gondolas and water scenes since they produce the glory of the reflected light there. I have painted a few scenes, but am always drawn to paint more.
I love the gondolas…even though water taxis have now taken over most of the canals…the old fashioned gondolas and their charming gondoleirs (some of them actually sing!) are favorite subjects.
I am also planning paintings based on some of my favorite photos. Here’s a sample.
While there I also visited some of the outer islands and my favorite was Burano, where lacemaking is the favored profession. Not as famous as its neighbor Murano, where all the beautiful Venetian glass is blown and formed, Burano has colorful house fronts, quaint side streets, and beautiful lace on display everywhere! The designs are as intricate and original as its inhabitants. The nearly lost skill of tatting shows its beautiful origins here.
Not to be outdone, Murano is an exciting place to visit as well. The glass factories allow you to watch the glassblowers as they fashion their famous wares.
If you get a chance to visit this beautiful part of Italy, please do. The beauty of the region and the hospitality of its people is not surpassed. Just thinking about going back there one of these days is making me warmer!
Hope this has inspired you. Happy painting!