On my recent trip to Italy, I took along a Mini ink and watercolour piece in progress – yes, a Mini Vacation on a Mini Vacation!
I have wanted to paint my favourite B&B in Florence for some time now, but only got around to it just prior to leaving this past May. It was to be a gift for my friend and the B&B owner, Mariangela – as she had recently restored the front of her building and now it was a shimmering pink jewel on her street.
I didn’t finish it as I wanted to see what her flower boxes contained for spring so I could paint those, instead of the November photo version I had of the restoration. So I packed all my Mini materials with me and intended to finish up the piece in Florence to surprise her. My kit consisted of my 4 small paint boxes, a reduced selection of my tiny brushes, clip-on water containers, an 8×10 piece of Plasticor to mount the piece, a small paint cloth, and my trusty portable magnifying light.
But my trusty magnifying light wasn’t so trusty as I attempted to finish the piece in the evening on the B&B’s dark terrace. The LED light wasn’t strong enough, and the terrace’s light was a golden yellow, so not good for painting. I would have to finish it in daylight, so I tried again on my second afternoon. That trusty magnifying light took me some time to master even in daylight, because I kept knocking it with my big hand and (seemingly bigger) wrist as I painted. But after about 15 minutes of clumsiness, I got the hang of it and finished up the piece, adding flowers and greenery boxes to the piece.
I also brought along a mat and protective cover, and searched all over Florence for good tape to affix the piece to the mat (who knew mounting tape was so hard to get!). Success! And the piece was complete!
At breakfast the next morning, Mariangela received her Mini and was pleased. I forgot to take a photo of her with it – duh! But this Mini has found a happy new home in Firenze!
I certainly missed having my studio magnifier to finish off this piece, so I’m not certain if I’ll be taking my Mini’s-in-progress on the road too often!
(The link to the fabulous B&B that inspired this Mini – Le Stanze di Santa Croce, Firenze)
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