Deep in Castello

“Deep in Castello”
Coloured pencils, 31 x 26 cm. Drawn in August 2019.

As I walk through the narrow maze, I notice a lone figure up ahead.  She is momentarily framed by lamp light before she turns right and vanishes into an archway.

In the dim drizzle there is a feeling of being submerged here, as if the sea had already swallowed Venice whole.

Deep in wintry Castello how do I draw the mental line between inspiration and unease, intimate space and claustrophobia?







13 thoughts on “Deep in Castello

  1. Nick Shiroma

    I love how the whole scene envelopes you. The lights and darkness melt into each other. It’s alive with atmosphere!

  2. Sherry Telle

    In answer to your question, you draw it very well, you manage to imbue your work with emotion, and rich decadent colour! I get the feeling of comfortable solitude, and being embraced in the closeness of the buildings and the warm light. I feel the excitement of a city about to awaken for another day. I love to wander at night, and don’t any more. I had my purse taken in Vancouver on my last early morning jaunt about 10 years ago, and my husband hates it when I go now. I may start again! Life is too short to be afraid.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Yes, life is too short to be afraid – and yet we often are anyway. My sense of “what if” was mainly about potential water rising, as only four days prior to our being in Venice, there had been horrendous floods. It was after I figured out to look at the high/low tide chart that I relaxed – as to know when high and low tide will be each day enables one to plan the day ahead in Venice. Knowledge is power.

  3. anna warren portfolio

    I don’t get a sense of unease here – maybe it is the warmth of the lamplight, but there IS a feeling of mystery, who is she, where is she going … I love the softness you are achieving, the full focus is there, but not too much said, the viewer can become involved in the story. The patterns and reflections in the wet pavement are entrancing!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hey Anna, the unease was all about fear of rising waters. I was entranced and excited while at the same time a little bit of me was worried about acqua alta. This was my very first evening in Venice – and only four days after the big October flood. Next day I had the marvelous idea to check the high/low tide chart. Once I knew whether a tide was rising or falling (and what the measurements were to be) I had a great deal more confidence about being out and about at any particular time.
      My dark human up ahead was perfectly timed. I thank her for being there just at that split second. She was probably a mere tourist – but the fact that she was alone made her interesting.

      1. anna warren portfolio

        Ah, I understand. It could be terrifying to see sea water suddenly appearing in the street. Good plan to check the tide tables! I do like that enigmatic figure, not seeing a face adds to the mystery.

  4. juliepodstolski Post author

    It’s funny – but almost all the films I’ve seen set in Venice have dark figures disappearing into passages. “Don’t Look Now” comes to mind – and “Death in Venice”…

  5. Robin L.

    A beautiful piece. I like your words “inspiration and unease”. This resonates with me because the past week has been dark and uneasy. My husband and I were robbed at gunpoint and shot (me twice, him once). In a generally calm neighborhood with no similar incidents in several years. The criminals have not been caught yet. Both of us (both artists) are trying to draw some inspiration from this experience. Sorry for the ramble! In some ways, I feel like the figure in this piece.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Oh Robin, I am incredulous. I am so terribly sorry. My unease wasn’t anything to do with the possibility of being mugged. Mine was about rising waters because it was my first night ever in Venice and only a few days before Venice had experienced bad flooding. Whatever natural disasters we have to deal with, they must be easier to come to terms with than assaults inflicted by one human being on another.

  6. Robyn Varpins

    I am once again struck by your sensual luminosity. And the delicate play of complementary colours is strong and subtle at the same time.


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