Blue Boat Blair Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 12 x 16" 30 x 40cm
Toward Guidecca Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 9 x 16" 23 x 41 cm
Bridge near the Vegetable Seller Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 15 x 7.5" 39 x 19 cm
Reflections of Windows Blair Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 21.5 x 18 56 x 46 cm
High water Blair Pessemier acrylic/canvas 16 x 12" 40 x 30cm
Across the Accademia Bridge Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 16 x 12" 40 x 30cm
Light on the Water at Dawn Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 16 x 12" 40 x 30cm
Mooring Blair Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 16 x 16 40 x 40 cm
Alilaguna Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 9.5 x 12" 24 x 30 cm
Confetti Morning Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 12 x 16" 30 x 40cm
Well on our Street Blair Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 16 x 12" 40 x 30cm
Tree with Church Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 12 x 16" 30 x 40cm
Gondolier at Ca d'oro Blair Pessemier 21.5 x 18 56 x 46 cm
Artnotes: Shut the Shutter
Five middle-aged men in a gondola ply the rio not far from the Piazzo San Marco. All but one is holding an Ipad, cover dangling like the seat of their skivvies, looking AT the screen rather than at their fantastic surroundings.
Nearly everywhere I go here, people are looking at screens rather than the view. The most hawked item here on the street is the “selfie stick”, so you can hold your Iphone three feet away from your face to get a good picture. It’s alarming. But actually, I am having such a good time, I don’t care what those poor suckers are doing.
There is an art to looking, and Venice is a feast for the eyes. The color is shocking: pink skies in the morning; water that is actually turquoise/blue, even when the sun isn’t on it; stones that glow a soft yellow gold; not to mention the actual gold mosaic tiles that adorn some edifices. Brick towers tilt this way and that; a pointed, byzantine arch sits near a Palladian-style window; a shrine is tucked at the end of the street.
It’s impossible to see when one is clicking, or in many cases, video-ing away. Everything is reduced to two dimensions. One of the most interesting comments I hear in our outdoor painting workshop in Paris, from people who used to paint from photographs is, “there is so much AROUND me”. It is that atmosphere that adds to the impression in one’s mind, so much deeper than a photo. And that impression is what follows you home, inspires you to write, to make jewelry, to paint your kitchen Venetian blue. I don’t hold a paintbrush ALL the time, and we do take photographs, but we try to keep it to a minimum.
Most surprising this week has been the many museums we are visiting. I am not such a museum-goer, really, but when we went to the Peggy Guggenheim collection, the floodgates of my Art History education flew open. Like old friends (and some were – a number of artists had spoken at the Hartford Art School when I was there), I recognized the work of Mitchell, Penrose, Pollack, Paul Klee. In contrast, the next day we visited the Ducale Palace, with one of Europe’s largest rooms, and paintings by Titian, Bellini, Tintoretto. Today at the Accademia we saw a Giorgione and Piera della Francesca.
We are still painting daily, in the very early mornings. Friday, a photographer stood directly in front of me (I could almost touch her), with a tripod, to take a picture. I stood up from my bench, hoping I wouldn’t take her tripod and break if over my knee, when she peeped, “oh, am I in your way?” They could have heard my response back in Paris.