Under the Bridge

Well, instead of blogging I have been tearing my hair out trying to figure out why my blog's RSS feed has not been updating. As a result, I did not get to do any progress blogging on this painting. But here it is, a new Venice painting that I managed to complete in between the hours of frustration:

Venice, Italy painting by Jennifer Young

"Under the Bridge, Venice" 24x20", Oil on Linen

I was going through my archives of former paintings and found a little painting I had done a while back of a single boat beneath a lovely footbridge. I thought it might be nice to expand on that idea on a 24x20" canvas. I really enjoyed creating this new piece. While the boat is still featured, I was able to add a little more context and show more of the background. I really thought I would hate painting those rails, but once I figured out the design and started painting in the highlights, I rather had a good time.

As for my feed, we are still trying to figure out the best solution (though it will definitely not be feedburner!) If you are an email subscriber and received this post in your email box, then I've made progress, at least. If not, there's probably a bit more hair-pulling in my future.

Finally, it is done!

Pop the champagne, drop the confetti! Well, I have reason to celebrate any way. I finally finished this blasted painting! It's hard to believe I started this painting of Venice LAST YEAR, but there it is. I struggled with it at times, set it aside, tackled it anew, only to come away with yet more to do. I had to completely rework certain areas, especially the background buildings, because even though I was trying to be true to my photos, my hubby (one of my best critics) told me they didn't make sense the way I had them before. I do think he was right. I've said it before...if it makes a better painting, change it. In any event, I am glad I persisted because I think I am finally reasonably happy with the end result. Today is a pretty gray, low-light kind of day so I may need to reshoot it to get better clarity in the photograph (done). But I have to take advantage of a napping baby by sneaking this post in when I can.

Painting of Venice Italy by Jennifer Young

"A Private Tour" Oil on Linen, 30x24"


In all of the times I've been to Venice (it's been several but I've lost count), I've never taken a gondola ride. I always say that I'm going to, but I never seem to want to justify the expense. I guess I'd rather eat a delicious Venetian dinner instead!  From walks along the waters' edge, I've always enjoyed seeing  couples gently drifting down some narrow passageway. It's something I really should try to do before I hang it all up. Next time, for sure!

Venice W.I.P.

"Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible." -St. Francis of Assisi

My husband presented me with this quote at breakfast one morning recently, and I think I would do well to have it become my mantra. Even with part-time childcare, I can't seem to get more than a few hours of weekly studio time right now. With a little baby at home, tending to the necessities of my daugther comes first, and that is as it should be.

Perhaps as I hit my stride as a mother, doing more as an artist will also become possilble. At present, though, what used to come easily in the studio now feels like a real struggle. This painting is kind of crawling along in fits and starts. Here's what I have so far:

Venice painting in progress by Jennifer Young

Given that I am only getting about 2 hours of painting time in at any given session (which unfortunately still doesn't occur all that often) I can't really work alla prima (wet-into-wet) which has always been what I prefer.  The canvas size is 30"x24", and each time I return to the easel, the paint has dried pretty much completely. I feel like I am doing extra work at each session just to try and open it back up again. 

It's not as if every other painting I have ever done has been completed in one session, but for some reason, this multi-sessioned piece feels like more of a struggle. Maybe it is just the lack of continuity that has me stumped. Or maybe it's the lack of decent sleep! But whatever it is, I feel a bit like an inattentive reader, who keeps having to read the same page over and over again because her mind keeps wandering.

Still, in spite of my difficulties, I do feel grateful that it's possible to have a little time to paint again. Just starting something new and moving the paint around a bit feels good, even if finishing anything still sometimes feels like an impossibility!

A few gallery snaps from the "Small Stuff" show

Don't let anyone tell you that hanging a show for a bunch of small works is an easy task. But after it was all in place, we were very happy with the results, and I'm glad to report that my husband and I are still married. ;-) Here are a few shots from the show, on view now through Jan. 30th: When we were looking at this space for the gallery, one of the first things I noticed was this cute built-in. It's a perfect display for my minis and my new line of watercolor/pen and inks. Here I've decorated it with some lights and mistle toe:

miniature landscape paintings

A close-up that shows some of the ornaments--I like the little silver and gold Christmas balls along the bottom shelf:

miniature landscape paintings in a group

On the opposite wall are the landscape paintings of Venice and Lake Como:

landscape paintings of Venice and Lake Como

Close-up shot of the mantlepiece decorated with paintings. To the left of the large Venetian landscape are a series of little square 6x6" Lake Como paintings. Anyone who has read my blog for a while, or my squidoo lens on hanging art must know I'm a fan of grouping big and small paintings together like this. I'd love to do something similar over my fireplace mantle at home.

paintings of Lake Como and Venice

A small grouping from the next room of some of my more local autumn scenes:

paintings of autumn landscapes by Jennifer Young

I  guess that's really all I had time for, photography-wise. I may share a few more snaps and I will definitely share more info on some of the individual pieces in the show very soon.

Grand Venice painted as a small vignette

Though the subject matter is vast and expansive, this painting is tiny. I enjoy the looseness of it. With a painting this size you can't help but be loose! The little gondolier and other people were a challenge, so I resorted to a size 0 brush in some places:

Venice painting of the grand canal

"Grand Venice" Oil on Canvas, 4x5" sold

The image is about true to size. Painted on a mini gallery wrapped canvas with edges painted a near black (the gondola color). This is offered on its own or with an accompanying mini easel. Additional pictures and info will be added to the website later, but you saw it here first. Please contact me for all the details.  Available to ship this weekend, after my openings Thursday and Friday. Update: just sold! To see the other small works I still have available for sale, please click here and here.

"Lingering Light, Tuscany" miniature oil painting

More "small stuff" today as I continue preparations for Thursday night's gallery anniversary party and the First Fridays Art Walk that follows. This little painting shows the setting Tuscan sun over a sloping grove of olive trees .  There is a companion to this little painting that I'll try to post soon. 

tuscany sunset miniature oil painting 

 "Lingering Light, Tuscany" Oil on Linen mounted on birchboard Approx. 3.5" x 7.75" sold

It's an odd size, I know, but I do have a frame for it. It would also look great unframed, just perched on a mini easel.

I am enjoying the long horizontal format I've used in these pieces and in my previous painting of Venice. That's the great thing about making small works--you can experiment with formats and compositions (mediums too) with less sweat, tears, and expense than is sometimes required of a large canvas. And if they don't work out, they fit into the trashbin  a whole lot easier! I think this one's a keeper though. ;-) 

Venice oil painting, "La Città D'Oro"

 oil painting of venice gondolas


This little painting is of a golden evening along the Grand Canal. It is one of the small works I will feature in my upcoming show, "Small Stuff".

I'm celebrating my first year the gallery, so I'm offering a preview of this exhibition at my anniversary party on Thursday evening, December 6th. Invited guests will enjoy a chance to win a free painting during the event! Contact me if you're in the area and would like to attend the preview. The show officially opens at the gallery on December 7th from 6 to 8:30 PM for the First Fridays Richmond art walk.

Click here or on the image above for more information about this painting.

Getting ready for tomorrow night's art opening

I'm busy today doing the last minute touches for a show that opens at my Richmond, Virginia studio tomorrow night. Read here for the details. No oil painting in the last couple of days so I thought I'd share a sketch of Venice, from one of my sketchbooks:

Venice Watercolor pen and ink sketch by Jennifer Young

"Gondolas Near Piazza San Marco" 6x8", Watercolor & Ink

Bridge of Sighs

Here is a still-wet painting I've just finished of the Bridge of Sighs.

 Painting of Venice; Bridge of Sighs by Jennifer Young

Built in the 1600's, the Bridge of Sighs (Il Ponte dei Sospiri) was so named because it connected the inquisition room in the Doge's Palace with the Doge's prison. Crossing over the bridge to their confinement the prisoners would give out one last, yearning sigh as they looked out at beautiful Venice before they went to meet their fate.

A rather sad and poignant story! But a beautiful bridge nonetheless, and one of the many landmarks of Venice. I've gone on a tour of the palace and the prison and it is fascinating.

This painting is 24"h x 18" wide (without the frame). It is oil on canvas, priced at $1200 unframed or $1350 framed. For more information, please contact me.

Italian Waterways Art Opening Tonight

If you are out and about during Richmond VA's First Fridays art walk, please stop by to our opening from 6 to 8 PM. The show will feature my Italian waterways; recent paintings of Venice and Lake Como.

paintings of lake como and venice italy

If you are a Richmonder and haven't been to First Fridays, it has really become quite the event. It is again featured in the Richmond Times Dispatch. This time it is on the front page!  It's a really nice article for everyone involved in First Fridays. I'd like to emphasize that First Fridays includes more than the galleries and restaurants on Broad. My gallery and a few others are just an easy few blocks off of Broad Street, where the parking is still relatively easy to come by ;-).  View the art walk map, plan your route, and come on by!

For information about the painting pictured, please click on the image or contact me.

Venetian Balcony

I wish I could have posted more this week, but getting ready for the new gallery opening has had to take precident as things are really heating up. Here's another little gallery wrapped mini of Venice that I just completed. It measures 6x6":

painting of Venice Italy

The paint's pretty thick on this one. More paintings of Italy can be seen on my website here.

The Chariot Awaits

Here's another little square gallery wrapped painting of Venice for my mini collection. 

painting of Venice


This vignette is of a quiet canal in the Dorsoduro. We stayed in this neighborhood when we visited Venice and it was nice because it felt like a more residential  area and not overrun with tourists (like us!) 

This painting measures 8x8 inches. The edges are painted a solid color that compliments the painting, so no extra framing is needed.

More paintings of Italy can be seen on my website here.

Gondola, Signori?

Here's a little painting I just finished of a Venetian scene. It is one that I did as part of a series of new gallery wrapped minis.

painting of Venice canal


I am working on a few more of these "little Venice squares" (sounds like a breakfast cereal!) to offer in time for holiday gift giving season. This painting measures 8x8 inches. The edges are painted a solid burgundy color that compliments the painting, so no extra framing is needed.

This is a scene of a rather narrow side canal I saw while riding one of the traghetti across the Grand Canal.

More paintings of Italy can be seen on my website here.