"Notturno Veneziano" - oil on gallery wrapped canvas 12x12 inches
Good Painting... to ALL!!!
I am dedicating this evening's post to my lovely art historian daughter Allison Morgan... aka Jemima Puddle Duck/ Ms Pig... who will turn thirty-one tomorrow. It seems hardly possibly that thirty-one years have passed since she and her Mother laboured for twenty-seven difficult and dangerous hours to bring her into this life. It seems like only yesterday... that she shared my studio space every Saturday morning at my Brush Works Gallery in the Woolen Mill in Kingston , Ontario.
All of my children have shared in my artistic journey... each one with his or her own individual interest and ample artistic talent, I am proud to say. But it has been Allison... who has made it her life's avocation to pursue all things Art... up to and including her earning her Doctorate In Art History from St Andrew's College in St Andrew's, Scotland. She now teaches Renaissance Art History between Queen's University in Kingston and Carleton University in Ottawa... while continuing to write a post doctoral enlargement of her thesis topic for publication.
I am indeed proud of "Her" ... and her academic achievements... but what I most admire about Allison is her sense of self-determination... loyalty... intelligence and her wonderfully quick wit and sense of humour. "She" is... the kind of teacher that we so very deeply need at the head of the class... to guide young new minds through her wonderful example. Her sense of fair play... yet high expectations for her students will lead many other students... particularly young women like herself to push forward the envelope for opportunity and advancement in the world... for these young minds... in a too tired and male-dominated society of the past.
I decided to paint a special picture today... a sort of commemorative gesture marking not only her special day... but one which would visually celebrate the common love that we share for now... and always...Fine Art - Past and Present... as well as the common love and affinity for magical Venezia. It was here in this magical city of culture... that we both found our life's passion... work... and our Selves!
The image I have selected is my favourite basilica in Venice.... Basilico Santa Maria della Salute... or "La Salute"... as she is affectionately known by all Venetians. I visited her and sketched it her many times during my eight weeks of study in Venice. This High Baroque church architecture... constructed of white Istrian Limestone sits like an iceberg in the inky darkness of night... fairly seeming to float on the surface of the quiet waters of the night lagoon.
She was designed by the important Venetian Baroque architect Baldasarre Longhena between 1631 to 1687 and was opened with a special pageant known as the Festa della Madonna della Salute on November 21st, 1687... and that pageant processional still is observed on that same day... travelling from Piazza San Marco and across the Grand Canal to La Salute. Some cultures never forget to remember and to celebrate... things that mattered from their Past!
"La Salute" was constructed and dedicated to honour and to give thanks to the Blessed Virgin to give thanks for deliverance from the Great Black Plague which decimated the population of Venice... other Italian cities and the rest of the known world in the first half of the 17th century.
Her luminous and ethereal presence... against the stark, inky black of night... from the very first time I witnessed this moment described in my painting... perfectly described the basilica as being a looming symbol of new hope... in a previous world filled with suffering and death. And even today... in these troubling times... that Hope is revisited each ... celebrated and embraced by the citizens of Venice on November 21st. It's a marvellous example of... simple... child-like Faith and Hope!
So... I offer this rough quick study of this fine Venetian monument to "You" Allison... as a symbol of hope for a bright and fulfilling future life... and as a deeply held and unconditional gesture of my great love... affection and pride that I hold in my heart... especially for "You". Thank you ever so much for the constant and unconditional love that you have offered me along our journey together...
I so look forward to sharing many more exciting adventures together... and our always enjoyable returns to The Hundred Acre Wood... The Blustery Days... and our fav... The Muppet Adventures! Still young at He(Art)... EH Jemima???? HA HA!!!
Have the Happiest Birthday ever!... I look forward to a real celebration get together soon!
Until then Ciao... and Happy Birthday Sweetheart!
All my love ALWAYS!!!
Good Painting... to ALL!!!
PS I'll give this a "tickle 'er two in the morning Allison and add a few figures on the steps to amplify the grandiose Baroque scale of this magnificent edifice. It was a mad one session dash to get it posted in time for the celebration! Hope that you like it!