The last on the list.

I paint original paintings of iconic cities. In a list of cities that I have painted then Venice is the last on the list. Technically my paintings and prints are ‘cityscapes’. So I am a ‘cityscapist’. I paint cities because I love going to interesting places. I like experiencing the best that people can do. And it is on display in cities. Art, museums, architecture, history, entertainment, science, business, social interaction, politics, hope and achievement. What a super subject to depict on canvas.

So far my cityscapes have featured Brighton, Chicago, Edinburgh, Florence, Glasgow, Granada, London, Milan, Monte Carlo, Moscow, New York, Perth, Rio de Janeiro, Ronda, Sydney, Vancouver, and Venice. So when I make a list of cities that I have painted then Venice is last on the list. Alphabetically that is, but not in real life, because Venice is special.

The first time that we went to Venice was for a special big birthday occasion. We were apprehensive because everybody said that it was a really super place to go. It cannot be that good I thought. But it was, in fact it was even better. The place is saturated in history, art, charisma, and interesting stuff. If you haven’t been yet, then put it on your bucket list.

Many artists have painted Venice. In fact many very well known artists have actually been Venetians. Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, and Bassano spring to mind. It is steeped in art. The museums are stuffed, the churches are stuffed, all with famous pieces. The iconic architecture is everywhere. They even have a special Venice Biennale art exhibition that is probably the most internationally prestigious event in the art world. Venice is very inspiring. It inspired me!

I have visited most of the cities that I have painted. But not all. I sometimes get very welcome commissions to paint cities that I haven’t been to until now. When that happens, and I cannot make a visit for some reason or the other, then I must use the huge library of Internet images and other people’s experience. This is also very fulfilling. People share their excitement and experience online, and I can pick up on it to make paintings.

I have been to twelve cities on my list, but there are actually five places from this seventeen that I haven’t been to. Can you guess which ones? Obviously not London because that is where I am from. Or Venice because I have just told you that I have been there.

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Colin Ruffell was born in 1939, then he was bombed, evacuated, educated, expelled, repatriated, married, bred, qualified and taught; until in 1965, aged 26, he became a professional artist. Since then he is proud and happy to have survived. He qualified from two Art Colleges in painting, design and printmaking, and the Open University in psychology and aesthetics, plus he has a reasonably clean driving license. He has founded, led or organised the following; Spectrum Studios, Artists in Action, Bayswater Road Artists Association, 9-Plus Artists Group, Buckingham Fine Art Ltd., Brighton Artists Workshop, European Fine Art Ltd., The Fine Art Trade Guild, The Fiveways Artists Group, and Crabfish Ltd.