Painting Stories in Italian Castles

October 25, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

When I was in Italy I had the privilege to stay in a castle near Chianti in Tuscany, about an hour south of Sienna. We were there for 6 days. Each day we were treated to delightful Italian fare by the chef, who just happened to be married to the owner of the castle. The last evening we ate in the inner courtyard of the castle. This image shows him serving the pumpkin custard we ate as our first course.

The image straight from the camera was good, and fun, but the feel of it wasn't quite as story-like as reality seemed that night. Post processing (in Photoshop) was quite extensive on this image to emphasize the details in this image that were important to the story. 

Looking at the steam rising from the serving bowl, which alone tells an important element of the story, I'm reminded of the chilly crispness to the air that night. The intensity in the chef's face reminds me of how dedicated he was to his job, and that, because of him, I experienced many glorious Italian dishes during my stay. The lamp and dishes remind me that while this was a castle to us, it was their home, and they tried to make us feel at home, even though we were in such an amazing castle. The architecture that is visible behind him hints as the grandeur of the castle and the history that had taken place within its walls. The woman helping him is his wife, an absolute Italian beauty. She looks like she belongs in a castle. However, as the castle owner, seeing her hands busy serving, reminds me of the amount of work she does to maintain her family heritage and inheritance. The castle is on a working farm, with vineyards and olive groves and sheep herds.

So this image is far from what it looked like coming out of the camera, but it looks much more like what my mind saw and remembers from my journey through Italy.


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