"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson

"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson
"Sour Milk Gill" From the award winning painting series.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Meet Me in Venice!

"Meeting in Venice"
By James Swanson / Traveler Ash
20" x 16" oil on linen
See the journey of this painting.
There are some great places in this world that you just can't take in fully in just one trip; Venice is one of those places. We did a quick trip to Venice for the Special Edition for this painting series, but Venice needs more exploring, and this is where we meet our new Traveler Ash.
Traveler Ash
Traveler Ash, is very worthy of the title "Traveler".  He has been around the world and then some in his travels.
All photos of Venice are from Ash's website
Ash became a Traveler for this series through the recommendation of another Traveler Erie, who knew Ash from their college days.

Traveler Ash's Story: I've only ever been Venice once; the weather was slightly wet in early April 2002.  St. Mark's square was very wet - one could see several inches of rain over it at times.
I went with a good friend from University, Andrew Kuhl.  We had studied engineering together; and he's now a medical doctor.
Andy was living in Ottawa, Canada at the time.  I was living in London, UK.  He flew over to visit London, Venice, and Paris.
The nice thing about going in April is being in the off season, and the number of tourists is significantly less than in the summer.
Several hours before this scene we had been wandering around the Venetian Arsenal which is a number of shipyards and armouries that were used by the state to produce its naval dominance.

 I remember we ate in the surrounding neighbourhoods, were the residents were more likely to live, instead of the tourist spots. We had a lot of pizza, but this trip was before I had discovered red wine ;)

One funny story (in retrospect) is that Andy almost missed his flight out of Venice, because the flight was actually earlier than he thought  To get to the airport he had to run through the streets, because it was faster than getting the ferries.
The photo of Ash's that the artist worked from for the painting.
The scene you have painted was taken from a bridge, and is close to the room had been staying nearby to St Mark's square. It was a private home, with the upper rooms being used as guest rooms.  The day was slightly overcast and we took a ferry away from St. Marks slightly after that photo.

Traveler Painting "Meeting in Venice" I must say that I've been very lucky in the painting project so far. Because of it,  I've been meeting new people and seeing places in a unique and  sometimes more casual way.
This painting, has been on my mind to do for quite a while ever since I met Ash. I've been holding back on using Ash's travels in this series, because I knew once I opened up his cookie jar of photos,  I would be tempted too much to keep going back.
But the time has come, Ash's Trip to Italy was a really nice one and too good to pass up.
This is how "Meeting in Venice" was painted.
First I tinted the canvas with Burnt Sienna, and then sketched in the design of the painting.
I mix a lot of my colors for a painting before I start in painting. That way I can see how they work all together before they are painted on. It really helps with the speed of blocking in a painting.
I started painting in my darkest darks first and then the sky. I try and keep the painting balanced as I work on it. 
The buildings and the water was painted in next. the painting is almost blocked in here, with just the people to paint in. The water and boat are the key elements to this painting and I wanted them to be put in fresh looking.
The people are now painted in. People in a landscape steal the show. In this case I didn't want the people to command too much attention so they had to be painted in very simply and cleanly.
At this point I thought I was done. Everything was in and color was adjusted. So I put it away to dry for a while. But when I put a fresh eye on the painting later, I knew it wasn't quite there. It needed to be pulled together a little more, here and there. 
Okay, now I'm done. Before this the painting was a little stiff. I felt it need to be brighten up in spots to keep the focus of the painting on the lower half.
Details from the painting
 Framed and ready to go.
"Meeting in Venice"
By James Swanson / Traveler Ash
20" x 16" oil on Linen
Traveler Ash has been very generous to us with his photos and memories of Venice, and I want to thank him for taking part in this little painting project.
 Ash has done some pretty mean traveling, so I know we will all be seeing him again real soon. The cookie jar has been opened! Ah! thanks Ash.
This project is always on the look out for more cookie jar places. If you have one, and would like to take part in this painting expedition to see the world from one spot, contact me here, or go to the website and find me.
Until next rime Arrivederci! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a good travel story and some fun and interesting pictures and we can get started on a painting journey.E mail me here with
name, place, and a few pics of the spot,and I'll get back to you.