I’m often asked about how I choose painting subjects. I look for the subject to make me feel something, like awe, appreciation, wonder, pride, connection, joy, amusement… and the list goes on.
For instance, last December when I visited Italy, I was looking primarily for beautifully-decorated and evocative doors for future miniature paintings or a possible Christmas card series. But I chose the subject for the doorway of my latest miniature, “Siena Osteria, Holiday-Style” because it made me giggle.
This osteria didn’t do a stellar decorating job but I loved the Tuscan-Christmas mash up! A garlic and lemon garland next to a plastic holly and poinsettia garland. A Santa leaning next to a hairy wild boar leg adorned with a sparkly red bow. And don’t forget the wicker wine jug – a staple of all holiday celebrations!
I managed retail shops for many years, and trying to decorate a place of business while maintaining its identity is really, really hard. Some of my giggling probably also came from my recollections of my own so-so attempts at holiday merchandising (I wasn’t good at it). And because of my connection to this aspect of the scene, I definitely HAD to paint it.
Even though this holiday door decoration is a little out of the ordinary, this painting makes me feel happy – amused and charmed!
(Original available in my Miniature Ink and Watercolour Originals Shop here)