Saturday, 2 July 2011

Sitting in Venice, Memories

Venice Canal 1, Acrylic on Canvas

             Artists for centuries have obsessed about painting Venice, those reflections, that ambiance, it is wonderful. Despite the crowds (which I loathe to be a part of) I couldn't help but be inspired by Venice.
The Venice series I painted was an enormous challenge for me. I drew, painstakingly with a pencil, measured, drew grid over grid, studied my photo's with a magnifying glass, prepared and procrastinated. The majority of the work went in before a lick of paint even touched the canvas. When I did start the painting process I felt like I was painting by numbers but it worked for me. I knew what was going to be painted next, every step of the way, never losing sight of what the end product would look like. I think I learned a lot and probably broke a million painting "rules"..bah to that. I think of myself in some ways as your A typical person, first attempt the repair of the thing that's gone tits up, only afterwards read the repair manual.

Possibly there are one or two more Venice paintings lurking around in my brain, every now and again slowly turning themselves around like a giant beast stirring from an often uncomfortable, irritable slumber, needing to be freed.

One of the more memorable moments.

Its a hot day. Mom and I see a lot of people swallowing down frozen slushies and Mom thinks they look like a tasty, refreshing delight sent from heaven. We make our way to the window box of a shop and select two big ones, Neither of us speak enough Italian to know exactly what flavour they were. We didn't care, it was hot, they were cold and wet.

We find a shady spot to stand and consume our frozen slushies. I am glancing at the tourists when I hear a faint gasp followed by an even fainter voice saying "I think I'm Dying". I turn to see Mom crumpling against the wall, her face contorted in agony and she is slipping down toward the ground. I grasp her shoulders and support her. Her hand is pressed against the side of her face "It hurts" she wimpers. I think I see a tear but its hard to tell as her eyes are so tightly shut. "Mom you are not dying" I say. "Yes, I think I am" she replies looking at me through slits. "No Mom, it will pass, you had too much slushy at once, what this is, is called Brain Freeze, it will..." I couldn't say more, I was consumed with fits of laughter. I am so sorry for laughing at you Mom but when I think back on our time in Venice that moment always comes back!


John Salmon said...

I'm a sucker for old brickwork Samantha and I can tell you've studied your subject well and taken care over the detail. I like the blue sky reflection in the foreground it sings out loud and clear.

I'm pleased you broke the rules. If you'd followed the standard guidelines it just wouldn't have turned out so well. It must have taken ages getting all those reflections in. It's a very good painting.

Samantha Anne Hutchinson said...

Thank You John. I must say I was more drawn to the brickwork under the patches of missing plaster than the reflections, but then they complimented each other so well :)
Ages ages, to many ages.

Graham Hanks Art said...

another one of your lovely Venice paintings :) its my favourite place in the whole world! I'm off to Venice again in October - I'm taking a group of my students there for a sketching trip (well it was a good way of wangling a free holiday in venice lol)

I seem to remember getting a touch of brain freeze from the slush too ;)

Samantha Anne Hutchinson said...

Haha! Graham, cant think of a better place to think you are dying in. Jealous, yes I am feeling jealous..I hope the trip goes well and how do I go about being one of them students?..;)