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Shrouded in Venetian Mist

Sophia Khan

watercolor on Arches paper

watercolor on Arches paper

copyright © Sophia Khan

The above watercolor first looked like the image below. I was satisfied with it at first, but as an artist, satisfactory is never what I aim for, for either myself or for those who may bring my work into their homes. 

I think it is telling that, it was by adding more layers of paint, that I was able to get to the essence of what I found beautiful, the essence of what I was trying to communicate with this watercolor.

And so I find this is true in life as well. The more layers of experience we have, so to speak, the closer we get to our essence. The more that happens to us, the more we live life, the more life reveals things about us to ourselves. Whether we deem it to be positive or negative while it is happening to us is not as important in the end. It is our past, it has happened to us, and is therefore a part of our story, our truth.

The beauty of living a full life and of owning our past and our present as truly ours, is that all of it will inspire us as we more forward into our futures.

I also feel that in Venice, as in life, it is exactly this layering of history, this layering of the past, of stories, battles, and triumphs, that give both the city and people meaning. This is imprinted in the stones, the details, the form of the city and its architecture. And for us, this gives us beauty, and what ultimately makes an impression on others, that remains unforgettable for those who see it.  

On another note, I am so very excited and over the moon to share that I have recently dhad the wonderful opportunity to share my work and thoughts on Venice in the beautifully curated blog of author Saxon Henry.

And for those of you who may be in or near the NY area, I am excited to share that I will be offering my next Watercolor workshop at the Art League of Long Island soon.

The image below is one of the watercolor washes I did as we neared the end of the last day of my previous workshop. It was all about letting loose and having some fun. The students participated, as I prompted them to tell me which colors they would like me to use. With this wash, one student remarked how it was beginning to look like a flower and so I added green.

I can honestly say that I have never had a subject appear so vividly during a wash. It was a very exciting moment, as the other wash I did also revealed a subject. I believe that it showed my students, as well as myself, that as we let go of preconceived notions, just have some fun, and let loose, we are more open to exciting and wondrous things happening for us. (link to workshop here)