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Tell Me Your Stories

I love when my stories behind the art I make are replaced with your stories!

Upon seeing the art, you’ve shared stories of having visited these places – where you sat, who you met, what you did, how you changed. You’ve also shared your excitement about future trips to these places – upon retirement, to celebrate a milestone birthday or anniversary, to go to school, or because it’s been a long-held dream.

When I’m asked to do commissions, I also get to hear wonderful stories about why these images mean so much. One part of a current commission I’ve just completed holds a client’s story that intertwines with my own of a very special place.

This past summer I visited Monterosso al Mare in Italy’s Cinque Terre region specifically to get more photo subjects for new pieces… and to enjoy this fantastic town by the sea. Every day I’d walk past a very steep, narrow street on my way to my B&B and I’d stop to take several photos, knowing it would make a great subject for a future painting. This street wasn’t a new discovery as I’d taken those same photos on previous Monterosso visits – I had more than a dozen versions of it. And I had climbed those stairs several times to explore!

Then this summer at a recent show, I got into conversation with a woman who’d been to Monterosso a few weeks before me and told of being lucky enough to secure a last-minute apartment up a street she couldn’t get out of her mind. I asked her “what street?” (because a memorable street is not to be missed!) but she wasn’t entirely sure of its position in town. She went on to tell me about spending glorious days with her husband in the area and returning back to that apartment at night with local specialities and wine in tow. Her voice was full of expression, her eyes twinkled as she told the story of their trip! I told her about my favourite street in town and she said that maybe it was the same one as hers but maybe not.

A few months later I finally decided I was going to paint my Monterosso street and selected a photo to use for the drawing. But before I could begin, this client contacted me about doing 2 commission pieces from her trip, sending along the desired photos. One of those photos was of the same street! Thank you, Universe! And it was a great photo, perfect for a richly-detailed 5″ x 7″ ink and watercolour. It was such a great joy to talk with her about her trip and to share in her love of this town… and this street, Via Milite Ignoto.

“Via Milite Ignoto, Monterosso al Mare”; 5″ x 7″ ink and watercolour (shared with client’s permission)

For my recent show, “100 Little Journeys”, I created a number of videos about the recurring themes in my work – one of them being “Your Stories”. These are just a small sampling of the stories you’ve shared about the art you’ve taken home.

Can’t wait to hear more of your stories next year!

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