Posted by: jeanne | January 28, 2015

our little outing for art supplies

it wasn’t an entire bust.  we got a jar of not horrible peanut butter out of it.  and some hot chocolate and frittata (not the omelet, the stuffed pastry).  the creme chantilly was great, the zabaione not so – it was the alcohol, i think.

anyway, the day started out with jim deciding he really wished i had insisted he bring along some of his handmade pastels.  way back in atlanta, in the middle of his test venetian paintings, he discovered that the boughten range of blue pastels wasn’t appropriate for the colors he wanted to use, and had to make his own.  nothing strange, just a range of cobalt and lapis.  but when it came time to pack, he left them behind.  so of course he needs them now.

i’d already researched where to buy art supplies in venice, so i whipped out my research document and found the place – right next to the accademia art museum.  we got up early, ate breakfast, got connor bundled up, and headed for the vaporetto.

mistake number one:  we didn’t take the stroller.  we thought it was going to be a quick trip.

but it seems that particular art supply store – established in 1810 – had already gone out of business.  we had to duck into a big hotel around the corner for this information, and he kindly told us where another art supply store was.  go straight, he told us.  behind the hotel, over the little bridge, and go straight.

and of course, there is no straight in venice.  but we found it anyway.  and it had oil pastels, but very few soft pastels, and none at all in blue.

so i did an internet search, and it gave us two more art supply stores in venice, one in san marco, and one in san polo.  so we got back on the vaporetto and went up to the rialto stop, and dove into the streets.  it wasn’t hard to find, and it was an art supply store, and we even asked for help in my horrible italian, but they didn’t have what we needed.

so back out onto the streets, over the rialto bridge, and off toward campo san polo, which we had already passed on our way to buy our transit passes, last week.  i went a little too far down the street leading from the bridge, and found the famous specialty food store everyone raves about.  and there was a little jar of peanut butter (we got jiffy at the billa grocery store on lido yesterday).  so i got it.

and here connor started being stroppy.  first he wanted the chocolates in the window.  then he said he was hungry, tho he ate not an hour before.  and then he was cold.  true, it was about 40 degrees out, but he had on a warm coat and mittens.  but his whining escalated, and soon i was carrying him.  and then my legs started to hurt, my varicose veins to throb.  so i put him down, and there he was clinging with his legs around mine, and wouldn’t let me put him down.  so i began to lose patience with him, and finally jim had to carry him.  but jim was also carrying the bulky big camera, and it started hurting connor, so he wanted me to carry him.  etc.

we made it to campo san polo, where they have set up an outdoor ice skating rink (good luck there, in a subtropical environment).  the map led us to the next island, over a few photogenic bridges and canals, and finally i realized we must have passed it.  so i looked it up again, and there was the little red dot on the map.  so i tried to call it, and got a nonworking number.  great.  i decided to go into a little pastry bar (pastries and alcohol, who knew?) and ask, but the lady had never heard of the shop.  google maps, wrong again.


so we had hot chocolate.  turns out connor, after swearing he hates chocolate, loves hot chocolate.  this wasn’t your normal hot chocolate, either.  this was like thin chocolate pudding.  really delicious, but really hot, and really thick.  but connor drank his all up (drank half of mine, i mean, because his was still way too hot when i was half done with mine).  we ate two frittata, and they were like cream donuts, but with real cream, not creme or kreme.

then he had loads of energy, of course, but still wanted to whine and be held.  actually, while we paused on a bridge, he insisted on doing the spiderman crawling up the wall thing, and because there was too much foot traffic, i had to discourage him until we got back out onto campo san polo, where there’s lots of room for such shennanigans.

we got to a different vaporetto stop, and the boat was just pulling up, so we rushed to get on, and then we came back home, fed connor, and put him the hell to bed.  he took the first actual nap he’s had here, rather than playing with his toys, and now he’s in his room playing with his computer game (!???) until grandpa wakes up.  which should be any old time now, since i’m in the bedroom pounding away at the keys.

i suppose i might have to go to the mainland to get the pastels jim needs.  but not today.  and during his nap, jim worked out a solution to his technical problem.  he’s going to do an underpainting with my pigments in watercolor, and then do his pastels over that.

whatever works.



  1. This made me tired just reading it.


  2. May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.

    Edward Abbey


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