Friday, December 30, 2011

Heaven and Earth

This is Santa Maria di Salute, which you see across the Grand Canal from Piazza San Marco in Venice.  These perfect domes against that beautiful sky, seem to me to be a bit of heaven.  Don't you just want to be on that boat?  Or live in one of those palaces?

- Linda

Friday, December 23, 2011

St. Mark's Basilica

I painted this last week, based on one of my photos (see below).  I also used an online photo for reference because, when we were there in May, there was a construction barrier over the lower part of the entrance.  This is one of the things I love about painting.  I can make things the way they should be, the way I feel about them, not the way they are.

St. Mark's Basilica was so beautiful and impressive, like a slightly faded but very regal queen holding court in St. Mark's Square.   I really identified with the woman on the left who was just standing still and taking it all in.  I like to do that first, to really absorb what's before me.  I find that when I take a photo, I'm thinking about light and composition and it's more intellectual.   Notice how I switched the two figures on the right, and repositioned the basilica to make a better composition.

Best wishes for a very Happy Holiday!
- Linda

Thursday, December 15, 2011

St. Mark's Square

Napoleon is said to have called St. Mark's Square "the drawing room of Europe", and you can still see what he meant.  It's big, imposing, elegant, and filled with people who are enjoying just being there; lazily browsing the postcard stalls, or contemplating the facades of St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace.

I love the beautiful arcade that surrounds the square.  We wandered past shop after shop of expensive art and luxury goods.  Near the end we found a little gem of a glass store with beautiful contemporary sculptural pieces.  I was attracted to some very simple, strong animal figures; a clear glass fish with a ribbon of red curled inside and a blue hippo that looked so soft and solid I just wanted to touch.   Even though we were clearly browsers, the owner was welcoming and gave us a tour, leading us up the tiny spiral staircase to the balcony that peeked out onto the square.  It felt like a private, enchanted place to view all the activity below.

What are your favorite memories of Venice? Or what's on your wish list?  Please leave me a comment by clicking below!

- Linda

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Venice Discovery

I spotted this tourist eying a storefront in one of the side streets of Venice.  I don't remember what was in the shop, perhaps beautiful leather goods, exquisite shoes, colorful carnival masks, or maybe just an enticing lunch menu.  And notice--as I mentioned in the last post--window boxes of flowers at every opportunity.

- Linda

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Castello

Venice is made to get lost in.  If you're determined not to, and you study the map, the first thing you'll notice is that the city is in the shape of a fish with the Grand Canal bisecting it in a big lazy curve.  The Castello is the tail of the fish, on the eastern side of the city.  It's much quieter than the touristy areas, and the streets are wider, lined with local shops and with laundry hanging overhead.  We discovered this cute park that led to the Canal of San Marco.  And, after walking all morning,  I was very happy to find a bench to sit on to eat my picnic lunch, and to sketch.

On thing that impressed us in Venice was the amount of flowers everywhere.  So many buildings had window boxes bursting with carnations.  Venetians seemed to make use of every corner to add color and beauty.

- Linda

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