- Hors d'Oeuvres Madonna (all the little shell things I'd seen in the fish market),
- Spaghetti with squid in black ink,
- fillet of St Pierre in bread
- and then Lemon sorbet with Proseco. (I'm now on a diet!)
But the best bit was the waiters!
There was this very tall and patrician Maitre D (what's the equivalent in Italian?) who obviously ran the place 'just so'. And then sat at the back was a whole table of waiters of various ages. I thought they might be having their lunch but then thought that was odd as it was lunchtime - and waiters normally eat just before or after the time a restaurant is open for lunch.
It turned out that they were all shelling the scampi for that evening. There were ENORMOUS mounds of cooked scampi and scampi shells - each one of them had a little mountain! So I asked if I could take a photo and they said Yes and then I started to sketch in pen and ink. And this is the sketch of "The shelling of the scampi" - which is going to make a marvellous painting as it's all black and white and neutral colours and then these big pinky apricot mounds of scampi and shells.
I probably didn't spend more than 15-20 minutes on the sketch - there are times when attending life drawing tends to pay off - but unfortunately not for the bloke on the left whose head I got wrong! He was absolutely fascinated by what was going on and kept looking round to see what I was doing.
And then.........waiters started coming over to watch me.
And then...........the Maitre D came over and I thought he was going to stop me - but I showed him where I was up to and he nodded and said something in Italian which I didn't understand. I think I was OK because nobody was identifiable - again just suggestions of faces rather than portraits.
And then........because he'd been to look even more of them came over to look! What I hadn't appreciated until I looked around the trattoria a bit more was that they had paintings absolutely everywhere - on every wall three and four high up the walls.
When I finished I gave it to one of the waiters who then took it around the table of waiters - as they were all still shelling! - and everybody had a good look at the picture - and, of course, what they looked like! Lots of nods and smiles and 'Bella' type comments. It always makes it worthwhile when you do a sketch which people know you're doing and they get to see it - and then they don't make faces! Must have been OK then!
Note a bit of lunch escaped and got on the sketch!
The afternoon was a bit less successful. I tried a sketch next to the Rialto but it was just too busy and noisy (gondoliers arguing!). This is what I was trying to do and will probably have another go at - it's photo no. 167 since Monday morning!
So I went back to near the Fish Market and did a very fast sketch as I was due back at the hotel by 5.00pm to fulfil my honorary task of 'End of Course Exhibition Organiser'. I even bring my own blu-tak! Here is the exhibition of the various paintings executed during our week in Venice.
And then we all went out for dinner!
Technorati tags: art , drawing , pen and ink , plein air , sketching , sketchbook , Venice ,