Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Painting: "A Venetian Spectator"

Today I finally finished one of my paintings from this summer's trip to Italy. I enjoyed working on this one from start to finish, and found myself continually imagining up stories about this old woman's life, and what she might have to say if I were to sit down and have a conversation with her. Her expression could read any number of ways, from sour and grumpy (i.e., "Those damned tourists!") to thoughtful and lonely or simply enjoying the fresh air. Either way, I purposefully juxtaposed the old woman with a very cheerful scene at her window: brightly blooming flower pots, topped off with a rainbow-colored pinwheel. Of course, flowers, green shutters and pinwheels are familiar sights in Venice and other Italian cities, but I felt that this image had something special about it that was worth capturing in a painting.

"A Venetian Spectator" - 30"x24" - oil on linen

Originally, the old woman was looking out from a very boring window. I decided to take her and put her in the scene that I created in the painting. Here is one of the original shots (a slightly different pose in this one but it gives you an idea of the original setting):

 I looked all over for the perfect reference photos (Steve had taken at least a thousand pictures of windows!). Here are a few of the images I considered, but none of them ended up working out.

I did at last find an image of a window that I could use. Thanks to Photoshop, I was able to piece my reference materials together, making sure that the lighting matched. I was able to place the pinwheel and flowers exactly where I wanted them. I am very happy with how this painting turned out and look forward to sharing more of my works in progress soon. :-)

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