Thursday, 22 October 2015

Venice Days 2 and 3

Monday 12 October was reasonably bright so we headed out to the Rialto and weaved through Santa Croce to the Scuola San Rocco where there was a good deal of debate about what to paint.  Eventually David Pilgrim and I settled for a canal view.  Behind us Paul Rafferty was painting the arches of the Scuola and the other three were trying different things nearby.

This one turned into what David calls 'a jigsaw puzzle' - narrow canal, reflections, just what you would expect and all that.  I must admit I found it hard to breathe something different into it.  Later I added the washing (that I had seen in the Via Garibaldi area) but it still looks rather twee to me:

By the Scuola San Rocco - morning
David and I wandered through Dorsoduro, past the San Barnaba square and on to the last remaining gondola squero in Venice.  We found our friend Robbie painting it but it looked a bit too much for us and we moved on to the Zatterre where we tried a view of the San Giorgio across the Giudecca canal:
San Giorgio Maggiore from the Zatterre
So far we had worked hard but not really 'nailed' anything.  We walked out to the point of the Dogana, round to the Salute vaporetto stop and took a boat to the Molo so that we could paint in St Mark's Square:

Late Afternoon - San Marco Piazza
David's one of this view was full of light and knowing that there was no time for anything else we took a 5.2 round the city to the Fondamente Nove and home.

The forecast for Tuesday was rain and a moderate aqua alta.  We walked to St Mark's hoping to get one in before the crowds and the water appeared.  In the event we had both to contend with.  Paul and I pitched straight away in the corner uner the clock tower, using the arcade as shelter from the drizzle.

We had done one by the time the water started creeping out of the holes in the Piazza and Paul had almost finished another when Karl joined us and we all bashed on regardless of the water creeping around our ankles.

This is my first one and I might post the other one if I can 'tidy' it a bit:

Rain In The Piazetta 12x10
Paul took us for a hot drink and a bun before the three of us trogged off to the Rialto where we found Tony and both Davids struggling manfully with the fould weather.

Paul pitched in the corner of the San Giacomo di Rialto square looking out towards the Grand Canal along an arcade.  Showing my customary lack of initiative i pitched behind him and painted the same scene but not nearly so quickly or well:

Arches near San Giacomo di Rialto
This is David P later and you can see how dark the scene is - which means that one tends to paint in a higher key (not necessarily a bad thing).

David Pilgrim - Rialto
We were all pretty hacked off with the weather but I stayed for a pastel.  I had always wanted to paint the San Giacomo facade so gave it a go in pastel.  Sitting next to me was a gent painting a lovely watercolour of it.

San Giacomo di Rialto - Pastel
I overdid the reflections but enjoyed the exercise.  Back home we all went out for a delicious and inexpensive meal in Castello as it was Paul's, Tony's and Karl's last full day.  The restaurant is on the salizada that runs off the SS Giovani i Paulo square and  I must get the details because it was such a great experience eating there.  The final two days in the next post!


  1. Lovely Tim. Great composition on your arch piece and I really like the looseness of the rain in the piazetta. You should definitely do more pastels as well as they work very well and compliment your oils nicely. St Marks square is a winner too and this is already shaping up to be an excellent collection of your work from the trip!

    1. I was a little surprised that we had in fact done some OK work because my memory is of repeated disasters. Anyway, as usual you are very encouraging!

    2. I was a little surprised that we had in fact done some OK work because my memory is of repeated disasters. Anyway, as usual you are very encouraging!

  2. I very much enjoyed working with you Tim and seeing your work here. You've managed to bring a real sense of light and subtle reflections into your works and not shy away from a complicated subject.
    Seeing your paints quietly floating away among the mayhem of the shuffling crowds was amusing, if not a little surreal.
    Good trip and good company.

    1. Hi Paul, Thanks! I have also achieved another ambition of painting next to maestro Rafferty and seeing how it should be done! Despite the weather and the tides it was a hugely enjoyable trip.