The Venetian Carnival is an occasion of colour and spectacle held during the month of February. It starts 40 days before Easter and ends on shrove Tuesday. Decorative masks and costumes are very much part of Carnevale Venezia and a prize is awarded for the best mask. Susan and I have been three times during the Carnival. I have loved painting the costumed figures set against the backdrop of the Venetian architecture.
The weather is usually sunny, however it can be very misty and extremely cold, often below freezing. Somehow this adds to the drama and theatre of the occasion. For this particular painting I noticed a costumed figure dressed as a Jester, posing on a jetty. I was able to take some photographs with him standing under the lamp. I’ve often painted gondolas which are fascinating vessels to paint. Using some of my other reference material of Venice, I added in the gondola to give extra depth and interest to the composition.
Although I’ve been blessed to paint some amazing places from around the world, Venice remains one of my favourite cities. The crowds can be frustrating and some of the restaurants are overpriced for what you get. However, it is so different from any other place and it is so paintable. The key to successful painting in Venice is to get up early before the crowds, or paint later on when they have gone. Or, try and find a quieter spot away from the main tourist attractions where you can find yourself in peace and quiet.
Jester is now available as a limited edition print with only 25 copies in the addition.