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Jumping in

Day One.

Venice, Italy.

Tom says let’s stop and paint.

I say OK.

We sit and face in different directions. As usual I choose the easier composition.

Evening sky, reflected on water, bracketed by old palazzos punctuated by shuttered windows. Essentially vertical rectangles with a few decorative details, small terraces dotted with potted plants, bracketed by cast iron railings, a few stray sheets hanging from the laundry line.

The way I see it, as a painter, is as a composition about above, below, and along side. With one of Venice’s hundreds of ancient bridges providing a strong horizontal link.

I have taken a lot of time winnowing down my supplies to just the essentials, to the point of leaving behind my sketchbook. Thankfully, we are just a short walk from an art supply store and I’ve picked up a pad of watercolor paper there, paper that is fairly resistant to water it turns out but better than nothing.

Tom paints, I paint, the evening light deepens.

An old man stops to watch us, discreetly at a distance, taking his time to roll a cigarette, stealing glances.

He sits facing us, on the mossy canal dock we’ve chosen, really just an indentation of stone steps down to the water’s edge that keeps us out of the stream of pedestrian and water traffic alike.

By the time he’s had his smoke, we’ve finished up our painting too, and re-enter the stream of evening life in Canareggio. Locals eating cicchetti (tapas) at small sidewalk bars and cafes, artists in their studios, shopkeepers sweeping down the sidewalks.

Evening in Venice, like a dream.