Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Venice Watercolours

While in Venice I attempted to keep a travel journal. But because of time constraints I had to satisfy myself with taking a lot of photos as well. Painting takes me ages, you don't want to be stuck with me in a museum! These two paintings I made for my mom for Christmas based off of the pictures.

©chloe cornell 2014

The real reason that watercolour is so difficult is it is largely freehand, no perspective lines or sketches beforehand, and it is so fluid that it tends to go everywhere if you're not careful. I used John Singer Sargent's watercolours from Venice as inspiration for my colour palette and framing. 

All these watercolours are by John Singer Sargent and can be found on my pinterest board with links to their source,

2014: Venice

For my birthday this year I took a trip to Venice with my mother and aunt. Before going I watched A Room with a View (in Florence not Venice) and Katherine Hepburn visiting Venice in Summertime. The one song I kept playing throughout my trip was O Mio Babbino Caro that plays in the opening of A Room with a View.

I also looked at art and design in Renaissance Italy, it's golden age where most of the old palazzos were built. But none of this research came close to describing the real thing. Despite the crowds of people the city remains timeless.

Things I will always remember about Venice:

-The sun washed look of the faded buildings
-The songbirds that live in cages on the sides of buildings
-The prevailing smell of honeysuckle and jasmine that are in all the gardens, including the airbnb place, Casa della Sposa where we stayed. 
-The whistling shorthand that the gondoliers used.
-The cleanliness of the streets, due to street sweepers in the morning and barges, which I found out while painting one morning.
-The very serious doorbells, very decorative and with inscribed plates. 
-Having to pay for the live band in the main square at the cafe, so I asked them to play Tea for Two
-The strange juxtaposition of resting gondolier and ipad.
-The serious colour coordination between painted house, curtains and flower boxes in Burano the lace-making island.
-The unexpected burst of bright green of a high up garden over faded walls
-The detail everywhere from grills in the walls to street signs
-The pink glass in the street lanterns on the main streets.
- The little dark side streets I always wanted to go off and explore, it was never ending.. reminded me of the old computer game Mist for some reason..
But the most abiding memory was the faded quality Venice had. The peeling paint and exposed brick, like the city was sleeping or under a spell. 

Casa della Sposa: (a lovely place to stay!)

all photos by Chloe Cornell

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Rad Art

I stumbled across this tumblr account via buzzfeed, a great page featuring classical paintings with modern hip hop. I love this juxtaposition and how these words bring a new element to old paintings at flyartproductions. They really give the subjects a voice and add some humour and fun to the great masters. My tumblr, beforesunrisebeforethebirds has irregular posts,but I do love following others like these great girls at flyart.

They also recently started creating tshirts with these images. I love "Get Lucky" combined with an Edward Hopper painting, 'Summer Evening'... any ideas for Christmas presents anyone?

Shirts and more can be found at

This inspired me on my twitter feed @seewavesbreak, combining modern artists with my favourite quotes. It's always good to spread the word on artists you love!