It seems like a lifetime ago when we were able to freely travel. Our trip to Florence, Italy was part of one of our typical but still special European visits, with a leisurely stop in England at the beginning and end, but with side trips to Italy and Holland included.
I have been to Florence before, but it is still a favorite spot. I think of it as golden for the light, for the art, for the people.
And so when I came across this carousel on the square, it was one of those moments when it all seemed to come together in rich detail.
I debated when I took this painting on if I wanted to chose a subject with so much complex detail. But it was the summer of 2020, with a pandemic and the agony of a country in disarray. It was such an unsettling time. I decided that children waiting their turn on the lovely horses might be just the ticket to take my mind off, well, everything.
I agonized over details, right down to whether to add another pigeon landing at the bottom of the foreground. I eventually decided he inhibited our gaze to the figures further in and so out he came. He flew away.
This piece was a huge challenge for me, just what I needed to make the long hours of an endless year pass. It took me to where I wanted to go. A return to socialization and joy in a beautiful, complex world. I really do miss travel.
The Carousel, Florence oil, 30 x 24″