I love scooters

This painting is from a photo I took last summer in Ostuni. I was taking part in an antiques market (trying to sell paintings) and about 10am scooters started arriving in large numbers and it seemed we were double booked along with a scooter rally. It was a lovely sunny day , Ostuni is a beautiful little town, and the “Villa” (park)  where we were is very picturesque. And I love scooters. Hundreds arrived, all colours, styles, makes, sizes and some had even been individually decorated.

It seemed that they had come to this park in Ostuni from all over the region and they would meet for lunch and then depart. The riders were all ages and sizes. By lunch time all the roads in the park were filled with rows of gleaming scooters.

Oh what bliss. I walked round and gazed enviously at all this beauty and power.  My scooter goes ( most of the time!), but it’s not pretty or elegant or  even clean. These were works of art.

I took lots of photos but I didn’t expect to ever paint any of them

It was when they were all leaving after lunch that I took this particular photo. I love the way the whole family gets on a scooter. (I have seen a mother, father and two children on one)  I liked this because it was so typical and it must be such fun for the children.

I didn’t expect to paint it then because there was just such a lot in it, but recently I feel I have begun to try everything. I figured if drawing is seeing then maybe I could see and draw a scooter. I would need to look very carefully as I don’t in the least understand the mechanics. I have a vague grasp of how the human body works but don’t ask me how a scooter functions.

So this has taken me just under 3 weeks. I spent nearly 2 hours on each wheel.  And tried really hard to get everything in proportion as this is scooter country and someone would be sure to comment if I didnt get it just so.

I have surprised myself .

Another aim I had in doing this was to carry on with “loving, singing and dancing”. So I decided that I would try and make the colours sing and dance. I already loved the subject so that would be it all covered. Therefore at the end I used unmixed, undiluted turquoise as highlights, I made the dark darker and the light lighter and in doing so only made it look the way I saw it originally with the sun shining through between the trees and casting all sorts of shadows. I could just about see the heat.

Tonight I took it up town and it is now hanging in Vladimiro’s bar in the Piazza Umberto Prima. I have put a price of 450 euros on it, but  have also said I would exchange it for a pretty and reliable scooter. You never know! I might be lucky.


  1. You mean Vespas!! Are you going to try and get a Vespa this time? (You will note the name, which means “wasp” is the forerunner of your Ape or “bee.”) I wonder if they are going to come up with a “Calabrone” (hornet)?

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