Saturday, 8 October 2011

The city of light (and love)

No, this wasn't a recent plein air experience - I wish! After spending our honeymoon around the Bay of Naples and Amalfi Coast, we decided that we loved Italy so much  that we just had to go back for a second time in 2003, just a year after our honeymoon. This time we decided that it had to be Venice and we were so glad we made that choice. After missing the connecting coach from Treviso airport on the mainland, we managed to find a very helpful young lady in the local cafe who spoke very good English, certainly better than our combined Italian lol,  and she helped us to find a local bus to the nearby railway station in the beautiful town of Treviso. The train journey into Venice was very comfortable and quick and just seemed like any other, although the view started to get interesting as we travelled across the causeway to Venice . It was only when we walked through the station doors at the other end that we knew we had arrived somewhere very special. Wham! Venice, the most beautiful, yet most fragile, city in the world,  in all its sunlit splendour, was the sight that greeted us ... we were enchanted.

For this painting I used a photograph of San Giorgio Maggiore, which sits at the entrance to the Grand Canal, taken from the water's edge below Piazza San Marco. 

Happy painting and my best wishes for a fabulous weekend to you all :)

San Giorgio Maggiore, watercolour on Arches 300gsm/140lb Not, 180mm x 260mm/7" x 10"

28 comments:

  1. Oh... Venice... sweet memories! What a wonderful painting, Michael! The water is fabulous, and I love the colour of the sky!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Michael, it's a lovely painting. It reflects your love and warmth of a beautiful experience and location.

    All the best to you,
    Joan

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a lovely painting Michael. You have beautiful colours used in your painting.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Michael, what a funny coincidence... Just today I have spent all the afternoon and evening in Venice (being here for the vernissage of the exhibition of Matite in Viaggio) and... I also made a small painting with water soluble pencils, for which I chose exactly the same view of the magnificent church of San Giorgio Maggiore seen from San Marco! You'll soon see it on my blog. I like the colours of your watercolour, and especially the different tones of the clear sky and the unique colour of the water of Venice. A place that seems a dream...

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a lovely feeling of serenity there is in this painting. I particularly love the water in the foreground. Great reflections. Venice is on my 'must visit' list.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, Michael how lucky you are to be able to see things that are thousands of years old.. My grandparents came from Italy as children, and how I wish I would have gotten there some day.
    Your painting is lovely , what a nice memory for you both..
    BJ

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you everyone!

    Judy - Yes, Venice is a very special place and does leave you with sweet memories doesn't it :)

    Joan - I'm glad that I conveyed that love and warmth of the place to you so well :)

    Renske - I experimented a little with the colours on this so I'm really pleased you liked them :)

    Lucia - what a lovely way to spend a weekend and yes, what a coincidence! I'm really looking forward to seeing your version. I'm sure Florence is the same but around every corner is a visual treat. The whole city is just magical - a dream indeed :)

    Vandy - I took out a lot of the foreground clutter - the solitary gondola gave it just enough action but still kept it serene. Lots of dry scumbling on the sea area so pleased that it came across well.

    BJ - yes we were very lucky to see Venice - I hope you do get the chance to go sometime :) How lovely to have italian roots - that explains your passion for art. My nearest ancestors were 100% british although my paternal ancestors were apparently descended from Saracens/Moors brought back from the Crusades and employed as stonemasons. Perhaps I should take up sculpture lol :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. The colour of the water is perfect! You've caught the atmosphere of the place so well. I must go back there some day a week just wasn't long enough. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lovely watercolour, Michael.
    I like how you have decluttered the foreground to leave only one gondola - it certainly does help you focus on the essence of the scene - and leave this viewer with a lovely feeling of calm. xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you Lisa. I love raw green blues like Cobalt, Manganese and Phthalo but for this I used DR Ultramarine and Hookers Green Dark for the water which gave a nice subdued turquoise. Yes, we only did a five day break there but managed to fit in a whistle-stop tour of some of the islands in the lagoon. We want to go back sometime too, and my paints will definitely be going then :)

    Thank you Pat. It's so difficult to know what to leave in, what to take out - but if I can bring calm to a reflexologist then I must be doing alright :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Magnificent, the light and atmosphere are glorious.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Michael.
    Brilliant, Brilliant and Brilliant. I love it. You have done a wonderful ( I nearly put brilliant again )Job here mate. It is difficult to pick out any part of it to say it is the best part, but, (I always have a but don`t I? ) I do think my favourite part is the Sky, The Buildings and the Water. Crumbs, thats all of it isn`t it? Well done Michael and all the best.
    Vic.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a lovely piece Michael. So fresh and spontaneous. And I loved your story about your trip to Venice. I'd love to go there one day. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Isn't Venice an Artists paradise? And you have done it justice! It is gorgeous! :0)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sharon - thank you for your magnificent and glorious comment!

    Vic - thank you for your triple brilliant comment my friend. Best wishes, Michael :)

    Crystal - thank you for your lovely comment. Glad you liked the little bit of story too. You really must go - you'd love it. If you stay on the Lido, which has a beach, I think that may be better for the youngsters :)

    Sandra - thank you for your gorgeous comment. Yes, absolutely, it is an artist's paradise - next time we go I will definitely be taking my watercolours :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lovely!! The light is beautiful. I like the theme so much.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am happy that you love Venice. Michael... it is very near to my town (Verona), do you know? ;) Your watercolor is a wonderful memory of this city, it remindes me of the Canaletto views... ciao!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you very much Rogério and Cristina. I don't know what Blogger has done to my original responses to your lovely comments but thank you both again anyway :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Who doesn't like Venice! Beautiful watercolor! I love the way you did the water

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you very much, Blaga. Well, I've never met anyone that didn't like Venice! I hope I can remember how to reproduce the water on my next paintings ;)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I like the light in this painting
    and the water nice and easy

    ReplyDelete
  22. lovely sketch you've captured the buildings beautifully like the dry ... one of my favorite places too ...we're lucky to live so close .

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you very much, Jane. You are very lucky to live so close to Venice :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Michael, I discoverd your blog today. Very nice works endeed. This Venice is simply beautiful! Ciao.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Tito. Thank you very much and welcome! I'm very pleased you found my blog and like my work. Ciao.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I like much, life and movement and light : )

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you very much for your kind comment, Sadeu :)

    ReplyDelete

No silly verification words here - all comments are appreciated! Thank you :)