A romantic idea...
It's wonderful thought to go to Venice to paint. One of the most beautiful cities, that is not short of inspiration. The setting: Ca'Zarnardi, a 16th century palazzo in Venice that is run by Misty and Andrea Chinellato and their wonderful team (that work like a family, I later learnt).
Initially it was daunting, I have to admit. The expectations (from oneself mostly) to deliver a painting inspired by the theme: 'Personal Utopia' by the end of the week and without the comforts of a familiar studio were agonising at first. It seemed like no grand Venetian palazzo could be a substitute for my intimate albeit grubby Acton studio.
How wrong I was...
The wonderful people at Ca' Zarnadi who are so willing to help and have a 'no problem' attitude to almost any request certainly eased me. A trip to Bebo, the art store in Castello with William Herod, the Art Director at Venice Art House brought back the familiar: canvas, brushes, ground pigments and palette knives ( all of great quality, made in Italy!). Then a trip with Veronica Comisso and the other artists to Venice Art House House, the gallery space where our 'potential' painting would go on exhibit made it possible to see a little bit further.
As I eased into the painting, I found there were a lot of similarities to the time I had spent as a child in my grandparents' home in Chettinad, a village in south India. It was certainly the large space, the light, and a feeling of 'all the time in the world' to paint and be creative. There were some intense periods of painting and very welcome interruptions at breakfast and lunch to sit around a table of artists over food loving prepared by Jean Pierre and Mari Be.
The painting slowly took shape and has been well documented by William Herod that I have posted here. This will be exhibited at Venice Art House later this year during the Venice Biennale.
If you are an artist, I cannot recommend this enough.
If you are a traveller and would like to experience some of this, it is possible to stay at Ca'Zarnardi. Just remember, you will experience 'home' in Venice.