Several centuries of decline and dilapidation rising sea levels and sinking support piles have not dimmed the allure of Venice. From the over the top Baroque magnificence of the cathedral of Santa Maria della Salute and the mix of European Gothic and eastern Byzantine of the merchants palaces that line the Grand Canal to the narrow side canals literally falling apart through neglect. There is still a painting waiting to be painted somewhere.

There are layers of dilapidation right through to the brick with its lime mortar corroded away and stained plaster render bleached by the sun falling off. Istrian marble carved arches quoins and balconies slowly being eaten away by acid rain mist and fog from Venices industrial neighbour Mestre. Is it the only surviving city in the world that has no motorised wheeled transport no lorries buses cars or motorcycles

When the sun shines a cerulean blue sky reflects in the waters of the canals these intense blues are colour complementary to the red oranges of faded Venetian reds... See it before it disappears.

From a practical viewpoint Venice is a difficult place to set up an easel. With a modest kit of two folding stools and a compact watercolour case it is possible to find places to paint from searching for shaded corners or unused landing jetties. There are busy times and places Venice receives about fourteen million or so visitors a year. A good time is from about five a.m. to ten a.m. for the first two hours after five a.m. the city is virtually deserted.

Painting Campanile di San Marco and The Grand Canal in Venice