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 called to daughter, Alicia, who was still in bed.  My plan was to orientate myself within a small radius from the apartment, in our sestiere, Cannaregio.

We had arrived in Venice the previous afternoon in rain.  The forecast for our entire four-day stay was rain.  Indeed in the night it had drummed down steadily.  I had woken early to the plaintive call of seagulls.  When I roused myself to the window the sky was blue and the moon sharp.  So I quickly dressed and rushed out. Who wouldn’t?

First I took a photo of our building’s entrance so that I’d be able to recognize it again.  The distinguishing feature was “hooligan” scrawled in graffiti.  Noted.  Senses erect I took a few steps this way (into Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo) then that way (to Fondamenta Nuove – the vaporetto stop).

Before I knew it I was OUT AND ABOUT in Venice.  Wow!  What an achievement, what joy!  The low winter sun illuminated all it touched.  Stone and water glowed.  Hardly anyone was around, the time being before 07:00.

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

I would do a loop back to our apartment.  En route I took the photo which became my reference for “Early One Morning”.  Where was I?  On Rio Terrà di Franceschi detta la Botesela.  (The name is longer than the thoroughfare!)

Was the pooled water a remnant from the just-finished high tide or was it from the night’s rain?  I don’t know but it looked perfect in its Venetian context.  Sunshine bathed upper walls of buildings.  It couldn’t reach lower – the result being 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 found my way home.)


5 thoughts on “Early One Morning

  1. Jennifer Wall

    Hi Julie, I’m absolutely loving reading your posts about your trip; looking at your beautiful photos and now seeing your evocative drawing. They are all wonderful. I’ve shown Gary the posts too and he says you take photos that look like drawings already that is, perfectly composed, eye catching and interesting. At least that’s my interpretation of what he meant. I feel like I am touring Venice with you. Thank you for transporting me. It’s making me feel very excited about our trip in April. Happy New Year Julie. Jennifer xx

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Jennifer! Delighted to communicate on the blog (as long as we still get our coffees together as well). I am so happy that you and Gary are enjoying the new posts. Equally, I promise you, I love writing them as the process of composing words and choosing pictures puts me right back there. My hope (fingers crossed) is a group of drawings – but we’ll see, one step (drawing) at a time. It IS exciting that you are going to Italy. I take my role of whetting your appetite very seriously. Happy New Year to you and Gary!! Julie xx

  2. anna warren portfolio

    Aha! The early morning once again. There is a subtle magic that happens then, maybe it is just in the freshness of early morning, or the lack of busy-ness, or that wonderful early winter light, or a combination of all. You really have got your mojo back, the magic of Venice!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Anna, I think it might have something to do with the freshness of the brain at that early time. There’s a lot to be said for being mentally ‘with it’, before fatigue sets in later on in the day. Plus there is nothing like seeing a place you respond to for the very first time. Every neuron-transmitter is sizzling with the excitement.

  3. Robyn Varpins

    what a feast of warm colour. and a delight to have people in the image too…it makes it very friendly.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.