Venice … flower of stone

window in Castello, Venice © Mari French 2012

window in Castello, Venice © Mari French 2012

I’ve always been a little sceptical of the claim that it’s possible to fall in love with a city… until my first visit to Venice back in May 2012…

… a week spent mainly in the Canareggio district where most native Venetians (not economically exiled to the mainland) live
and work.

Two vaporetto (waterbus) trips to a few famous (overcrowded) sights… Saint Mark’s Square… the Rialto bridge… Ponte della Salute… were enough for me.

Impressive though they are, huge classical spaces and sumptuous palaces are just not
my thing.

old palace abstract, watercolour sketch © Mari French 2012

old palace abstract, watercolour sketch © Mari French 2012

Instead we spent most of the week exploring the quieter backwaters, lanes (calli) and squares (campi) of Canareggio and Castello districts, including the Jewish Ghetto area… with their faded venetian-gothic architecture, intimate squares, exquisite small bridges, wall shrines etc …

washing, Canareggio, Venice © Mari French 2012

washing, Canareggio, Venice © Mari French 2012

… old painted plaster… peeling window shutters… shadows… half-glimpsed interiors… fluttering curtains… reflections… exquisite tiny bridges over moody canals…

Venetian-gothic windows © Mari French 2012

Venetian-gothic windows © Mari French 2012

… I’m going to develop a series of abstracted work over the next year inspired by the peeling textures and colours of the older areas of this haunting city…

… these are just a few sketches and photos from that trip… details… a taster…

Wall shrine, Venice © Mari French 2012image from shrine, venice © Mari French 2012

venetian square, sketchbook watercolour/collage © Mari French 2012

venetian square, sketchbook watercolour/collage © Mari French 2012

Bookshop interior, Venice © Mari French 2012

Bookshop interior, Venice © Mari French 2012

found still life © Mari French 2012

found still life © Mari French 2012

washing, hostel © Mari French 2012

washing, hostel © Mari French 2012

shutters, venice (sketchbook pages)

shutters, venice (sketchbook pages) © Mari French 2012

door onto canal © Mari French 2012

door onto canal © Mari French 2012

calle with ladders, venice © Mari French 2012

calle with ladders, venice © Mari French 2012

sunlight on old plaster © Mari French 2012

sunlight on old plaster © Mari French 2012

sunlit arches, Venice © Mari French 2012light & shadow © Mari French 2012

2 thoughts on “Venice … flower of stone

  1. Oooh Mari how gorgeous – you could absolutely lose yourself in those colours and textures. I really like the washing line image and some of the streets and architectural details remind me of nautilus shell – beautiful.
    Tons of inspiration there!

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