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)
Me too! I was a merchandiser, and always love to see how others merchandise and I can’t help myself when things are in disarray to help straighten things out! My friends say, their she goes! Cute Idea for Christmas cards!
It’s fascinating how our ways of seeing still resonate from experiences that happened long ago. Happy straightening!