Night: Venice

Night: Venice – Watercolor – 10 x 15 inches.

Only a short walk from this little street, the Piazza San Marco opens its wide arms to a few tourists who don’t mind a light rain. A five-piece band dressed in white sport coats, black trousers, and black bow ties plays under an awning in front of a restaurant for an audience of one. A little girl clutching a stuffed bear sits at a table in the front row and gazes raptly up at the violinist, who plays directly, and only, to her.

You pause for a few moments. Where are her parents? you wonder, then keep on walking. You’re a traveler, not a tourist. It’s midday at your mother’s home on the other side of the world, where it’s sunny, and pumpkins decorate porches, and green maples are turning orange and scarlet.

Here in the rain, a family gathers around a table under a red awning. You pause for a few moments and listen, but not knowing Italian, you don’t understand their chatter, only their smiles and laughter, their being together. You remind yourself that you are here, not in Reykjavik or Amsterdam.

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2 thoughts to “Night: Venice”

  1. Perfect day today to enjoy this watercolor! My cousin, a traveler, said that his favorite season to be in Venice was Winter, with its mysterious sea fog, damp gray air…..and no tourists!

  2. I enjoy observing the ways in which you harmonize non-essential or maybe incidental elements in a painting to subtly bring the whole piece together in a very inconspicuous way. What is obvious in this painting, eye catching and very beautiful is the orange/red and its glow: iterated, reiterated and modulated from awnings to the light shades, to chairs, candles, dampened walkways, storefronts, even a single illuminated window over the piazzetta. But what I note are the domes, a second level of unity to the painting: the dome of the church in the background (beautiful opening in what otherwise might be a claustrophobic closed space), the rounded openings to the balconies and some windows, the orange domes over the electric lights, the domed umbrellas, even the hood over the walker.

    It’s curious to me that at first I simply have a fine, warm, sympathetic reaction to the painting. I can sense being there. It’s only upon reflection that I recognize the technical elements that apparently contribute to my positive intuitive sensation. It isn’t necessary to identify those skilled representations to appreciate the painting. After all, that’s already manifest in one’s intuition. But it is enriching to probe beyond the surface and to see the craft at work.

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