Friday, October 23, 2009

Hall of Mirrors, Caloptric Chamber, Mirror Maze in Petrin Park

My latest oil painting - the distorting mirrors made a lot of people laugh.

It comes with a frame, so it looks very well indeed. With the frame, it's about 4 foot wide. I

Addition: Very happy to have been invited to submit this for a company the does online maps for tourists. Via

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

San Gimignanese

This gentleman, a native of the town of San Gimigniano in Tuscany, Italy, very obligingly sat and let me draw him, so I got a fairly detailed drawing in about 10 minutes or so. Then he helped me spell 'San Gimignanese'. I painted it much later.

It's a very touristy town, and in Italian touristy towns, anyone who runs an eaterie of any kind does not allow people to wander in and use the toilet - they insist that you buy something. We were aware of this, and went to a particular place that was run by what we in Ireland would refer to as two 'mad oul wans' - older ladies who were rather ferocious in their insistence that customers only could avail of the facilities. I ordered two coffees and two pieces of the local delicacy 'panforte', a very heavy fruit and nut cake that is practically a food group all on its own, then sat down to watch big strong tourists being worked on by those two canny battleaxes. "If you want to use the toilet, you have to buy a tea or a coffee or something" was their cry. However, the floor show was free!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Map-reading in Siena

I think I might have already mentioned the mediaeval city of Siena in Italy and its wonderful shell-shaped 'campo' in previous postings. Well, if you like sketching people, there are very few places as good as this for the job. The curve of the ground - which I believe is artificial, thus actually built this way - allows for people to lie and rest in the sun, and while they are just chillin', I can sketch them. It's brilliant.

Yes, some notice and comment. Most people don't mind. I make a point of explaining myself to parents though - wouldn't want them to worry.

Unfortunately the original drawing has been lost - as in I don't know what happened to it after I sent it to the US.