Isola Madonna del Monte

The Ruins of Isola Madonna del Monte

After spending much too much time on home improvements I keep pushing to get back to painting pictures instead of woodwork. It’s been a very snowy winter but I still have so many pictures I want to paint that I haven’t gotten to that I am torn between the views outside and feeling like I’m getting behind in what I want to do. Because it’s been just a year since our trip to Italy, I dove back into those pictures. It’s been a few days of looking through pictures, resizing them, cropping them, combining them and printing them to decide what to paint. Now, I’m there.

I am really happy with the windows I did last year from the Venetian islands, and while I want to paint the bold colors of Burano, there is something about the aging brick that keeps calling me back. That being said, and wanting to go a little larger I’ve settled on Madonna del Monte Isola. It was an island in great decay that we passed coming back from Burano. I took many pictures of it not knowing what is was.At first I wanted a close-up of the building because of the brink but being able to see a little bit of the colors of Burano in the background I decided that needed to be included.

Now, in coming back to it I had to do a little research on just what my pictures were showing me and what I might name it. That aside I printed out an 18″ x 36″ (multiple pages) of what I wanted, taped them together and I was off. My painting will be 12″ x 24″ so I laid out my sketch accordingly. It being buildings, I used a few rulers, but sparingly. More to help me work out any design decisions than anything else. With that finished and still deciding if I want to include the channel markers it’s time to get out my panel and fill up my palette and get to work.

The island had several lives over the centuries beginning as a place for a Benedictine convent in 1303. These ruins are what’s left of a powder magazine from 1712. The island is currently privately owned.

It took a few days to complete this but I believe I captured the sun and the sense of aging of the ruins.  I’m still wrestling with wanting to paint some snow scenes next. A trip to the White Mountains may be on the horizon.