Monthly Archives: January 2019

A Room with a View

“A Room with a View”  –  coloured pencils, 31.5 x 28 cm.  January 2019

We have a room with a view!

On our first night in Venice I sit at the open window – looking, listening, still.  And then I reach for my camera.  Perhaps this view (this sentiment) can be captured in a drawing.  Shutter clicks follow.

Sounds of lapping water drift upward.   Distant voices from figures on the bridge float on the air, echoing between stone.  It has been raining; maybe it still is – [I can’t remember].  The buildings are lace silhouettes, their white lights reflect on black water.

(“E.M Forster, I’m borrowing your novel title for my drawing.  Is that OK with you?”) 

The following three nights I hardly glance outwards as I flit about the room.  I am already used to the view – desensitized.  Isn’t that a peculiar thing about human nature…



Early One Morning

“Early One Morning”
35 x 28 cm in coloured pencils.  January 2019

Early one morning just nine Saturdays ago I set out from my vacation rental into the maze of lanes outside.  “I won’t go far”, I call to daughter, Alicia, who is still in bed.  My plan is to orientate myself to the area within a small radius of our Cannaregio apartment.

We had arrived in Venice the previous afternoon in rain.  The forecast for our entire four-day stay was rain.  During the night it had drummed down steadily.

I wake early to the plaintive call of seagulls.  When I get up to look out the window the sky is blue and the moon sharp.  So I quickly dress and rush out. Who wouldn’t?

As soon as I am out of the front door I take a photo of our building’s entrance so that I will be able to recognize it again.  The distinguishing feature is the word “hooligan” scrawled across an exterior wall.  Noted.  I take a few steps this way (into Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo) then that way (to Fondamenta Nuove – our vaporetto stop).

Before I know it I am OUT AND ABOUT in Venice.  Wow!  What an achievement!  The low winter sun illuminates all it touches.  Stone and water glow.  Hardly anyone is around, the time being before 07:00.

I take the brave (for me) decision not to retrace my steps.  Instead I push onwards, map in one hand, camera in the other, past Santa Maria Assunta dei Gesuiti.  In tiny lanes between canals I witness light, shadow, water and movement.

I decide to loop back to our apartment.  En route I take the photo which becomes my reference for “Early One Morning“.  Where am I?  The little street is named Rio Terrà di Franceschi detta la Botesela.

Is the pooled water a remnant from the recently finished acqua alta or is it from the previous night’s rain?  I don’t know but it looks perfect in its Venetian setting.  Sunshine bathes the upper walls of buildings.  It can’t reach lower.   The result is an almost spiritual vertical ascension from deep shadow to radiant light.

Early one morning just as the sun was rising...” in Venice –  Serenissimo – Most Serene.

(And I find my way back home.)