Inside a little house

This painting came about because one day I was out, doing some shopping in the hardware shop and I had parked my scooter in a little back street nearby. I had my good camera with me and decided to take a few photos of a row of old houses which were set on steps leading down to the next street. It was a lovely sunny day. As often happens someone in the street said ,”Hello” and then we got talking.

The lady wanted to know where I was from and if I liked Pisticci. I think she already knew I was an artist and had seen me at a market.  I said how much I liked being here and how pretty it was and then she insisted on showing me inside the old house next door to hers. She wanted me to see the ceiling with the canes as this was apparently the original roof. She thought I should do a painting of this as it was very interesting and antique so I took some photos,  but I didn’t think it would make a very good subject .

However, every time I go to the hardware store she is there, and asking if I have done it yet . So when I decided to do some experimenting last week with new subjects I considered interiors and although I have often thought about painting my studio and there is a gorgeous little wine shop with bricks and arches  and lots of character that I would love to paint, I thought I should at least look for the photos of the little old house.

They were better than I remembered. I liked the arrangement of shapes, as a pattern and I thought I might try using a limited palette.( instead of using every colour I felt like to create “zing!”) After the scooter painting  this would be peaceful.

So I combined two photos so that there was more ceiling showing and , more by accident than design, having half the table at the bottom  I thought might make people feel that they were sitting at the other side of it and looking in and up.

My idea of a limited palette was to use about 6 colours and black and white.

It is painted on a canvas 60x80cms. It was quite dark in the house but very sunny outside so I needed to make the outside wall as white and bright as possible and I took ages to get the inside wall, which is white, the best shadowy white I could manage. It may not look like it but there is blue, pink, grey, orange, yellow and green on the back wall.

I find I love painting light and shadows. It’s so exciting when I get the shadows or the highlights just right and the object becomes three dimensional or gleams.

It was fun to paint and I decided that I would put the ornaments on the mantlepiece, including the picture of the Madonna as that is so typical.

I am really pleased with the door on the right, probably the toilet door , as I have managed to make it look shiny. I think it is verging on miraculous what can be done with paint and I am so looking forward to trying more and more to create with paint all the wonderful things I see around me.

I am looking forward to meeting that lady again and thanking her for her inspiration.!


  1. I like the contrast created between the calm interior (verticals and horizontals) and the street outside, which is going somewhere fast. I always find that the dominant lines in my paintings are oblique ones, when really I am searching for some stability with horizontals and verticals. Does that make sense? Anyway, as always. looking good. You know that 95 percent of the battle to make a good painting is choosing your subject!

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