Pastels painted in Venice

As a matter of record, I’ve been meaning to make this post since returning from Venice, in April of 2016.  But it’s taken awhile.  Here are all the pastels I painted while I was in Venice this past winter.  My wife has written elsewhere about our trip, and has her own blog for her own work.  This blog entry is all about the work I did while I was in Venice for three months.  I have already written a post about the first half-dozen or dozen pastels, so I’ll try not to repeat myself too much here.

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This is the first painting I did in Venice.  It’s the bridge to Sant’Elena, where we stayed.  I worked on a piece of handmade paper that I had pulled myself in preparation to our trip.

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Then I did a painting on handmade paper of the bridge going from Giardini to the Riva dei Sette Martiri, near sunset.

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I’m not entirely sure of the order in which I painted these pieces at this point.  The earlier post is sure to have it more correctly, since it was done at the time.  This one is of one of the smaller side canals, with gondolas.  This one might have been done on a half sheet of Fabriano watercolor paper, I’m not sure.

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I did this one on oval handmade paper.  I had my son Michael build me an oval papermaking frame.  The scene is the Grand Canal just at the Rialto Market.

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This view was one we stumbled upon in our walks.  That’s the Salute church in the background, and a gondola stand in the foreground.  Handmade paper.

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Everybody’s favorite painting, this one is on handmade paper, and it’s of the tide coming in over the steps along the waterfront at Giardini, I’m pretty sure.

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At the end of January there is a costumed boat regatta down rio Canareggio, and we attended, taking many many photos.  I couldn’t resist doing this rather large painting, from a half sheet of Fabriano.  That’s me in the red cape.

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This lady was one of the costumed figures we saw in San Marco during Carnivale.  She was actually just returning to her rented apartment after posing all morning, and we happened to get a shot of her, and her friends.  Their apartment was right next to the Contarini Palace, with the fabulous Scala Bovolo, and I vowed to make a panting of the scene.  I used a half sheet of Fabriano for this.

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These are then studies for the painting of the Bovolo.  These figures all rented the apartment, and we hope they enjoyed seeing themselves painted in like this.

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Another study, again on handmade paper.

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And using a full sheet of Fabriano paper (something like 20″x30″), I put them all together in one painting.

Now to move on to cover the pastels painted from mid-February to mid-April, when we returned home.  In general, I used the larger sized paper; 8.5×11 or 11×17 just wasn’t enough anymore.  All along, my tools had been a choice of handmade or commercial paper, and a selection of pastels.  I started my drawings with graphite sticks and conte crayons.  I used soft pastels that I had bought over the years.  There were pastel pencils for detail work.  There was a specially made range of blues that I had made right before coming to Venice, and then left at home, so our friend Marie Matthews graciously collected them for the studio before coming to visit.  And my wife brought a selection of pigments for her use with watercolor medium, as she is learning all about handmade paint, and I used several pigments with an acrylic binder to make specific touches to the paintings.  The fixative I used was acrylic, diluted and sprayed on with a mouth atomizer (portable, efficient, and cheap).  And those are the ingredients of all of the paintings I painted in Venice.  Now that I am at home, and back to my regular studio, I can paint in any medium on any surface, but for traveling with luggage weight and size limits, I restricted my materials to the most lightweight and portable ones I could think of.

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A trip to San Pietro yielded this wonderful courtyard, with a gnarled tree and a well-head I just couldn’t resist.

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A chance view down a random canal made a fascinating subject.

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Our friend Marie volunteered for many photos, and I actually painted her several times.

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I thought it particularly ironic that there is a gift shop in the vestibule of San Marco, so I stole a picture of Christ and the money changers to paint above the hawkers and buyers.

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Our grandson Connor  was a constant delight at three years old.  Here is is, chasing pigeons in a campo.

Again, sorry this is so tardy, but I have better things to do than talk about my paintings – namely, paint more paintings.

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