Distance and Desire, Venice
painted without a pencil sketch
copyright © Sophia Khan
Today I am so very excited to be sharing a beautiful twofold giveaway. This is in celebration of the upcoming Valentine's Day, and in the spirit of one of the most beloved cities for the mysteries of love, the beauty of rapture, and the lure of romance and the unknown.
And as this day for cherishing your loved one's nears, thoughts of longing, thoughts of desire - distance and desire -appear on my easel and in my diary...
Distance and desire
Distance is sacred because it creates longing and desire
It makes the moment of pleasure in the arms of a beloved city all the more enthralling
Tears of joy can only flow after an ocean of waiting is traversed
And in the end, one never does 'leave.' A place becomes one with the emotion that it awoke within us.
And it is this emotion that we seek to recreate in our everyday lives back home.
We get close, but we remain in essence, distant. And in that space, emerges the beauty of Longing; emerges the beauty of Desire...
I paint to remember, I paint to celebrate that distance, to celebrate that encounter; to know, to listen, to be closer to my memories and to the essence of place. As such, a painting, at times paints itself. With this watercolor, the color of desire, the color of romance, became a suggestion of an intimate encounter. A dialogue that secretly took place between the viewer and a mysterious person who, just moments ago, walked away from a balcony of the Ca' d'Oro on the Grand Canal. Or perhaps, a dialogue about to take place; a moment of anticipation. And so it celebrates much of what is experienced within the city itself.
But art is not solitary. I paint to share the experience of a place, the emotion, and the encounter, with others. And just the same, I often read the words of others, to revel in the experience writers have of places I myself hold dear. It is no surprise my bookshelves are filled with travel memoirs, travel essays, architectural history, and travel sketchbooks of other artists. And along the way has come a book, an experience really, that speaks of this 'distance and desire' as it evokes the emotion of Venice.
When I received the book, Dream of Venice, and opened it up to the very first page and image, I had to simply stop and sit myself down. Before me, there was intensely evocative and overwhelming beauty. There was mystery, intrigue, a suggestion of so many layers of stories, layers of everyday lives. I gave this image, this moment, the time it so beautifully asked for, before being able to move on.
As I continued over time, to read the prose and wander through the layered imagery, filled with a kaleidoscope of emotions and reflections, I am brought closer to the state of my own longing, the state of my own desire for Venice. Each moment, each emotion elicited in this book, has a depth and richness that only Venice can inspire. And they all lyrically come together to form the concerto of a dream that is as much about Venice as it is about encounter.