Artist Date | The Mark of Venezia

My visits to “La Serenissima” have always left their mark on my soul. Whether it was filming a feature movie during aqua alta with my son, or a personal voyage in 2006 that kicked off a life-changing event, Venice is a powerful point of reference for me. A recent trip left its mark quite literally – as I was there to study and practice the handwritten gesture, the line between letter and abstract form.


Led by the artist-calligrapher Monica Dengo, the workshop was an exploration of the primal strokes that form shapes, letters, words, in and out of abstraction. We sat in an art-filled room of the Venetian Palazzo Minotti, each with her own desk. Like-minded artists, designers and calligraphers, the class dove deep into the work at hand without distraction, noise or reminders of the world outside.


When I emerged from my artistic seat each day, it was to dark streets in the evening. The hour and the emptiness provided a landscape of mystery and possibilities, as I lost and found my way around the canals, up and down bridges. The rain was not a deterrent. A few shops were worth breaking the spell of my contemplation – a hatmaker and an iconic paper shop. My go-to hotel is known for its art deco and modern design, its interiors offered a gorgeous visual respite in rich hues and luxurious materials. I sunk into a deep tub each evening, to release the day’s inner and outer adventures.

The three-section book, allowing the viewer to create mini galleries as a page turns on each inset.

The days of work resulted in the creation of a three-section book, and several smaller books, all done by my hand. With new works in hand, beautiful input and some budding friendships, I returned home like an ancient explorer passionate to share his discovery of spices, fabrics and sightings, a soul filled to the brim.