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Venice

Palm Sunday 2020


A beautiful day, but a very subdued Palm Sunday for those who usually celebrate. No religious celebrations for the community and in the UK, Queen Elizabeth made a public speech from her quarantine quarters in Windsor Castle — a special occasion and something that she hasn’t done in many years.

But there seems to be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel — at least for some of the northern regions of Italy, where new cases of coronavirus have been a few less, and the death rate not quite so high — which means that there is hope that we can soon move into the next phase and begin to ‘live’ with the virus instead of just hiding from it.

Grunge Christmas cards

grunge-leone
Have gone in for grunge in a big way with the collection of 5 Christmas cards created using recycled paper and prints from my original lino cuts. Each iconic image of a Venetian landmark has been treated with a distressed effect to give the finished image a weathered and old, grungy feel to it. They make a change from the usual images if someone is looking for something a bit different. Every card is different for the simple reason that each of them is printed by hand.

As usual, please be aware that the colour reproduction on the site is not perfect so the photographs are intended as a guideline only.

Lino cut prints

I had intended to do these the other day, but a few other things cropped up that needed my attention more urgently, so it was only this morning that I finally got working on my lino prints.

They actually take quite some time individually as the mixed media all dry at different speeds (inks, acrylic and tempera) meaning that I only manage to do one print at a time and then have to wash the lino and brushes – dry everything before moving on to do another print.

But I just love the muted shades which emerge for each print. Every single one is always different as it is impossible to produce the same effect every time. They really are unique and always a surprise, however well I think I know how the colours will combine!

Now I have to put them all inside their ivory coloured cardstock frames

Still no time to cut any new lino, but I already cut about 15 different subjects, so there is quite a good selection of local monuments for people to choose from…

Mixed media lino prints

art-washI do mixed media work using upcycled newspapers with my lino cuts and here you can see the base sheets hanging outside my window to dry. When there is  a breeze up I keep my fingers tightly crossed that they don’t all end up in the canal directly beneath the window!!

When these sheets dry, they then get a partial cover of gesso before eventually having the prints added on top. The prints will be my usual lino prints but will have the added attraction of the newspaper cuttings’ base – a style which is a bit more contemporary and tends to appeal to a different audience.

lino-saluteHere on the right is a sample of the mixed media lino cut prints…each is then framed by the textured cardstock matte frame which finishes them off really nicely. Every one comes out with a totally unique combination of colours highlighted with copper paint (or silver or gold – whichever is most appropriate for the base colour scheme). I just choose the basic colourways – usually 3 different colours and then wait for the surprise…never quite sure how the finished mix will look!

Collecting a rainbow

A couple more of the gorgeous colour pigments to add to my collection. I just wish I had taken a pic of the shop window to show you what a fantastic display these powders make. I was wondering around town with my photographer friend Mark, and whilst I was chatting to the shop owner and making my purchase, he was outside taking a pic of the shop window. Can’t have it all …so Mark gets the pic and I get the pigments!

Anyway, on the subject of Mark, we had a great few days wandering around town doing a couple of exhibitions and getting in a couple of nice meals…catching up with our news and meeting up with some of my old friends too. A couple of them own a lovely restaurant called “Il Covo” where Mark and I ate a delicious meal yesterday…I can hardly believe that some 40 years have gone by since I first met Cesare the owner! Anyway, if any of you are ever around these parts looking for something local to do in Venice, Cesare does cookery lessons for small groups…he has a passion for food and can make even an omelette sound like heaven!

Mark has just called me from the airport… as a travel photographer, he is off on…well…some more travels. I think the next few weeks see him in London, France, Turkey and then the States again. It’s a hard life!!

Craft Market

foto05b-466x500Well it’s just about that time again, and we are getting ourselves ready for the Craft Market to be held in Via Garibaldi here in Venice at the end of this month. We have a fairly good stock of bits and pieces, but were surprised at the last market by just how many earrings went, so need to make a few more of those. The odd thing is that on the previous occasion, the felt items seemed to be more popular. These markets are so infrequent (only 6 a year) that it is very difficult to build up an accurate picture of what goes or not. The passers-by vary so much because of the different kind of events going on in the city, so as this market it linked in with the Venice Marathon, who knows what the ‘average’ customer might be like!

Anyway, if you happen to be in town, do pop by to find us even if just to say hello! If you do decide to make a purchase, you can be sure of a discount  just by telling us the name and address of this web site!

You will find the event listed in the events’ calendar on this site, but just to remind you, here are the details:

‘Mercatino di Via Garibaldi’, Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, Venice on Sunday 28th October, from about 10.00 through until 20.00, weather permitting.

Well that was a gran ‘finale’ I must say!

jess2012Well if ever rain stopped play, I can say with confidence that is exactly what happened today to put a stop to our last craft market of the year. Gale force winds, lashing rain and a particularly bad bout of high water just put us out of the game! Even if there had been no wind or rain, the high water stopped us getting our little boat out to transport the stuff over to the market zone would you believe. We are moored in a small inner city canal, and at both ends there is a very low bridge. Sounds like a joke, but unfortunately – there is no laughing going on here today!

So frustrating when we have both put in so much work to prepare all sorts of stuff for the event. The one good thing that came out of the bad weather is that I made a careful inventory of all our stuff which always gets put away in a rather haphazard fashion after the markets. Just glad that daughter wasn’t around as she would surely have had something to say about how I organized everything!

ps. Mustn’t complain – the Venice Marathon was on today and those poor souls really had problems to deal with!

Made by Hand

When you buy something from an artist, you are buying more than an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experiments. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are not only buying a thing, but a piece of heart, a part of the soul, a moment in the life of someone.

by Giacomo Cinque
'La Sartoria Antica'
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