Status of Original Painting – For Sale
All prices are in Canadian dollars
Size: 13.25 x 20 inches
Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches
Ciao, Venezia! (Hello, Venice!)
While the pandemic and lockdowns continue around the globe, I thought I’d turn to painting some international scenes as recalled during earlier, better times. I chose to start with a tribute painting of Italy, which has been so hard hit by COVID-19.
What a delightful place is Venice! Where else is the taxi a speedboat, you wait at a bus stop and it’s a bus-sized boat that pulls up, or you can travel sedately by gondola with swarthy Italians using poles and oars to maneuver through the canals? Venice is a microcosm of classical and colorful architecture, tiny narrow streets between packed buildings, interesting shops and museums, crowds of tourists, the musical lilt of Italian voices all around you, romance and the smell of good food in the air, many quaint restaurants and cafes serving Italian wines, and a violinist serenading your table during dinner.
I can’t help but be fond of Italy. Growing up in Toronto and Richmond Hill meant I had a lot of Italian friends and classmates, and I developed an inevitable fondness for Italian food. My professional life has meant additional Italian friends and colleagues. I’ve visited Italy probably a dozen times, including twice in 2019 to give invited lectures. But I’ve only been to Venice once, and I must go there again.
I don’t often paint international scenes. Artists will find, and gallery owners know, that patrons generally want local scenes. A painting of Italy is not likely to sell here in Newfoundland, whether to a tourist or a local. Even a scene of the west coast of Newfoundland is not likely to sell in a gallery on the east coast, and vice versa. Gallery owners have also told me not to title a painting with the name of the depicted place, because that way they can pretend to the prospective purchaser that it’s somewhere local. Oops. I put Venice in the title of this one. Then again, if I’d titled it “Water Street,” would anyone believe it to be a scene in St. John’s?
But I generally paint whatever my inspiration and muse suggest, and I don’t worry so much about what might or might not sell. Indeed, I’ve travelled to five continents and there are paintings from all five already on this website, so I’m not doing too badly in that respect.
This is probably one of the most intricately detailed paintings that I’ve ever undertaken. I’ve been contemplating this scene ever since I took the reference photos in 2006, but the level of detail and the international aspect made me balk. I’m glad that I finally took the plunge and painted it.
My thanks to colleague Dr. Anna Spagnoli, who verified that my suggested title was correctly worded and spelled in Italian. And a shout-out to all my Italian friends and colleagues: I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well.