Inspiration in Venice

Last week I talked about being in Rome in 2014.  From there we went by train to Venice – a city of water and bridges!  Inspiration was everywhere, but water was a big part of all of it.  Here again, it was the ordinary parts of daily life that attracted me.

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Stories Inside 1V ©Paige Mortensen 15×15″ Watercolour

Stories Inside II ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour 15x15" $300

Stories Inside 11 ©Paige Mortensen 15×15″ Watercolour

There were, of course, more doors but here the windows seemed to draw my attention.  Maybe it was the narrow ‘roads’ where we walked because you could never get far enough back to really see the doors.  In the windows there was evidence of ordinary lives – cats on windowsills, flowers growing and laundry hanging out to dry.  Again, the questions arose in my mind: who built these buildings? who lives her? and what are their lives like?
Venice 2014 ©Paige Mortensen

One of my favourite memories of Venice actually started before we even got there and I owe it to YouTube.  We were very thankful for the video showing us how to get from the S Zaccaria Vaporetto Station (water taxi) to the Hotel al Piave where we were staying.  With these tiny streets going in all directions and water and bridges everywhere we would have been lost trying to get there.  Having watched this ahead of time made it into a fun adventure instead!  You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGvEjqFNOvQ.

Venice 2014 ©Paige Mortensen
Some places were busy with gondolas and people everywhere.  But then we found lots of quiet, peaceful spots where we could just enjoy being in Venice.  Love the reflections!
Venice 2014 ©Paige Mortensen

This summer I have been experimenting with some different styles of watercolour painting and one of the books I worked through was Jean Haines’ book Atmospheric Watercolours: Painting with Freedom, Expression and Style“.  She had obviously been painting in Venice and it was fun to work on her way of painting with my own reference photos of the same places.  This is the Bridge of Sighs in Venice.  They say it got its name because as prisoners went across it to be locked in their cells they sighed as they had their last glimpse outside. On another note it is also said that eternal love will be granted to those who kiss while in a gondola under the bridge at sunset.  This is my interpretation of the Bridge of SIghs done in Jean Haines’ style:

Bridge of Sighs ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour

Bridge of Sighs ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour

And my favourite spot in Venice!  This piece is currently touring as part of the Dimensions 2015 show and at the moment is in Whitehorse, YT.

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By the Canal ©Paige Mortensen 12×18″ Watercolour

Thanks for sharing my adventures!
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