Grand Canal, Venice – Acrylic on Canvas
|36 × 40 in
The view from the top of a cruise ship is 11 stories high! The panorama is perfect as the foreground is the Grand Canal then looking towards the Italian mainland and the deep space is the Alps towering in the background. The sun is setting on the left and the alps are piercing the stars on the left.
My first visit to Venice was with Stephano Savioli, my Italian student from North Island College. He was very wealthy and owned the tower in a castle in San Savino where I spent a month on location painting. Riccioni was where Mussolini had his villa so the town was s famous. Politically in Italy you are either Red, communist White, Christian democrat or Black the old fascist party. Stephanos father was a very successful business man in Rome and Stephano campaigned for the fascist party. One of the things he liked about living in Canada was he left all his hand guns behind and described to me some of the shoot outs he had been in. The population of Riccioni went from 30K to 300K in the summer and drugs, sex and rock and role ruled. One Italian stud was called the mosquito he had seduced 6.000 maidens. Unfortunately owning a property on a mountain top did not save Stephano and he was stabbed to death, he was only 60 years old. The Fifth Estate did an extensive investigation of the murder as did the RCMP. I was convinced it was the Mafia as Stephano had redeveloped his Ritz hotel in
Riccioni and as part of the project built as fascist bell tower. Fascist architecture is very geometric and minimal. I believe Stephano gave the local politicians the fascist salute in the middle of the town. There were not amused and he payed the price.
My painting style has evolved since I started painting 50 years ago at University of British Columbia, studying to be an art teacher. I was fortunate to have Gordon Smith as a teacher. It was easy to see who the dedicated artist were during the break I would keep painting along with another budding artist while all the other students mingled in the cafeteria. I achieved my only first class grades in Smith classes which later got my grade point average higher so I could go to graduate school to do my Masters Degree at Western Washington University. I completed the Diploma of Fine Arts with honours at the Provincial art school which is now Emily Carr University. I went on to teach outreach and toured the province doing weekend workshops teaching marketing, drawing and painting and art history
With a solid background in Art Education I went on to teach for 20 years at North Island College in the Comox Valley. When my art sales hit $100K in 1999, I retired from the college and devoted my time to painting and marketing my art. I have sold 5000 original paintings world wide, 10,000 of my self published books (I have written 5 books of my paintings and stories) and over 20,000 prints utilizing desk top publishing. It is sad that 50 of my artist and musician friends are dead as they were not successful at marketing their product and succumbed to alcohol and tobacco, life style abuse.
I spent 2 years in Vancouver with my German wife Christine setting up our Yaletown Gallery, #114 1118 Homer Street. I do a full page ad in Prevue the Gallery Guide which goes to Oregon, Washington, BC and Alberta outlining our next art showing. How many artists own their own art gallery in Vancouver!!