Saturday, May 19, 2012

Venice Canal

One feeling you get when visiting Europe is an appreciation of how the architecture fits the setting. It would be impossible to visualize a Prague without red tile roofs or a Venice where the old buildings had been razed and all replaced with glass and chrome. In our part of the world - and probably a lot of other parts too!- we seem to be losing our relationship to our landscape. Buildings become "one size fits all" and could exist almost anywhere- just like the blue vinyl in the last blog. Once houses looked more like they fitted the subdivision and all settled in in a neighbourly fashion. Now they loom large on their lots and glitter with lights under the eaves and false-stone tiles that will mildew in our west coast weather. When will we learn to adapt to where we live and not try to impose other ideas? In this canal painting, I've tried to capture the "rightness"of the buildings showing their age and adaptations to time. The colours and reflections in the could only be Venice and that is as it should be.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Waiting Gondolas

This is another of the paintings currently at Nooch. I liked the contrast of the gondolas in the shade and the buildings across the canal in sunlight. When I was in Venice before, the gondolas were then covered in black oilcloth for protection. Alas! Now it is ubiquitous blue vinyl
- we can't get away from it. Another thing that is everywhere is the white plastic chair. Those chairs are like a virus that spread and crowd out other types of chairs. And I will admit to one painting that has those chairs in it. The way they are everywhere, I don't guarantee that they won't appear again. Sometimes it seems as if the world is too homogenized. We need to try to preserve the differences. At least the gondolas themselves are still very evident and definitely part of the charm of Venice.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Orvieto - "Rendezvous"

...continuing the "stories" that go with the paintings currently at Nooch. This one is an Italian hill-top town. It was about 2 hours out of Rome - and three hours back , due to traffic! Since it is an old town with narrow streets unsuited to much vehicle traffic, cars are parked at the bottom of the hill and people take a funicular railway up to the hilltop. There were nice restaurants, nice gelato spots, interesting shops and a very old cathedral with a mosaic front. However, I must report that I was shocked to find some graffiti **inside** the cathedral - and found myself wishing that a bolt of lightening had come down to strike the perpetrator! It was shocking to see no respect for this centuries old cathedral. I find the old buildings that are connected across a street or pathway of special fascination, so the one in the painting caught my eye. Some people paint empty streets but I like to show some life so an attractive woman gives interest to this painting. I think it also add a story element - is she meeting someone in that restaurant or hurrying someplace else? I used a palette knife when I was painting the building's walls to work on that aged plaster effect. The painting brings memories of that nice day in Italy.