Large original painting of 5 cats and 5 figures in Venice, Italy by artist Rachael Grad. Painted with acrylic paint on highest quality canvas measuring 36" x 22" (91.44 cm c 60.96 cm). For this painting, I set up a diorama scenes with my original travel photographs and paintings in the background, walls and floor. Then I painted from observing the diorama, my paintings and sketches.
I slowly built up thin layers of paint in Venetian colors of earthy Indian reds, yellow ochres, umbres, black and white. I've been revisiting my travel photography, drawings and paintings and using them to create new artwork at home. While studying art in Venice, Italy many years ago, I was fascinated by the house cats and dogs that roam free and off leash throughout the city.
Living in Venice, Italy as Painting Inspiration
In this painting, I tried to capture the sensation of something new and exciting to be discovered “just around a corner,” similar to how it feels wandering the streets, alleys and canals of Venice. My memories of Venice include a strong nostalgia for travel, discovery, lightheartedness, and adventure in my life before having children. I was fascinated by the experience of living in a different culture and city that’s both ancient and contemporary at the same time. In La Serenissa (Venice, Italy), with no cars and safe streets, humans interact, exist, and share common space with animals in a city.
My goal in this painting was to capture the light and atmosphere of a specific dead-end alley (“calle” in Venetian dialect) in the height of summer heat and humidity. The humans and animals (house cats and dogs) moved more slowly and lazily in the stifling height of a summer heat wave. The painting plays with the scale and placement of the figures in different views of the Venetian alley. In this space, I got to know a friendly neighbourhood orange tabby cat.
I have hundreds of photos, sketches and painting of this specific orange cat and the many happy, off-leash animals in Venice, Italy. This original painting contains 5 different views of the same marmalade cat, along with 5 human figures. One is a self-portrait, two stylish Italian men in black and white and two elderly women with bright white hair.
The original artwork is signed on the back and was painted in August 2020. Please note that the RachaelGrad.com writing is for web purposes only and is not on the actual painting. This original painting ships directly from my art studio in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.