It Started With A Pizza

No, seriously, it really did.

The rhetorical question is: Remember my trip to Italy?

 The trip that left me questioning if I was David Cassidy?  Here’s the link, in case you missed it.  I came back feeling a little underwhelmed with my painting ability. Seriously, lots of questioning about why the heck I think I can paint – when, clearly, duh – I can’t do anything like the true artists out there – in beautiful Italia.  I’m certain that most painters must feel the same way, at some point.  And I think we all have to admit that ‘Distressing By Sandpaper’ can be eh, rather distressing.  There has to be more, right?

So back to the pizza.   But not your everyday pizza.  (yeah, Dominoes  – you heard right).

Italian pizza like this.  pizza-capuzzella-con

Yes, that is a MASSIVE ball of mozzarella cheese slap bang in the middle of a wood fire baked circle of doughy loveliness.  I do quite believe that this is what Heaven must look and feel like.  And it was nothing short of divine. BUT, what I loved more than the pizza, was what was above the pizza.    This beautiful fresco of The Madonna.fresco frameBecause, that’s the cool thing about Italy:  You can be chomping down on pizza while simultaneously feeling incredibly ‘blessed’ (both figuratively and literally).  And so, I took a photo of it, with the world’s most crappiest camera (see evidence).

And I’m back in the US wondering what I could do ‘differently’.  How could I challenge myself?  What can I use for inspiration?  Then I remember The Madonna.  Image transfer?  No, surely not.  Wouldn’t that be sacrilegious??  Oh well, I know I’m probably heading to Hell for a multitude of reasons anyway, does one more make a difference?  Probably not.

I tried enlarging the image.  And that only served to magnify the fact that Yes, I truly did have the world’s worse camera.

So, let’s move on to Plan B. Trying to locate a painting of The Madonna.

Funny thing is, when you start searching for The Madonna, Our Lady, Mother Mary – you find out that you have your pick of wonderful images.  I choose this one.  the-virgin-jesus-and-saint-john-baptist-1875 It’s by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1875)  And honestly when I saw it my knees kinda buckled. In a good way, not like a ‘Calcium-Deficiency’ buckling way.

So Plan B was formulated.

Lake Oswego HutchI would use the most fantastic painting with this old dark Jacobean blind door china hutch.

(and I can already hear the Purists scream their disapproval).

The stipulations were that it needed to  1: Look like it came from Italy.   2.  Look naturally aged (not contrived).  3.  Have fresco plaster detailing.  4. Be a focal point in a room. 5. Be conducive with the Italian color palette. 6.  Be simply marvelous.  and finally 7: Have gold leaf.

And this is what I ended up with.


I took creative liberties, and gold leafed her halo.


Plaster Fresco texture. It is incredibly smooth to the touch.


And the most fabulous image that I think I have ever laid my eyes on.

It was a lengthy process, I can not lie.  Trying to get a ‘naturally aged’ look takes time.

PicMonkey Collage

But I think it was worth it, and my humble self will tell you that yes, I think I mastered the challenge.

So, if anyone ever questions the merits of finding inspiration from a pizza, send them my way.

Because clearly – they have dough idea.

{Insert catchy ending phase}

Diane aka The Paint Factory



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