20 x 20

International travel has been rewarding beyond words.  Visiting sites such as the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu and Notre Dame have brought to life my world history lessons.  The trip to Russia is no exception.

The painting, 1000 Words, resulted from the trip to Russia.  My wife and I traveled with seasoned travelers and our tour manager Olga from Tauck Tours.  We visited the Baltic States, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and the Russian Federation.  The History of the region is remarkable and created many memories.  Many of those memories were captured in my ordinary style, looking for people in landmark locations, that moment in time to paint.

I was not the only photography enthusiast in our group.  They came from near and far and all we armed with the best equipment.  I was prepared with point and shoot and my iPhone.  They with DSLR, fancy this and that and cell phone cameras.

The sites of this trip were so exciting.  Red Square and Saint Basil’s Cathedral were so powerful but the images I captured there were too staged to be authentic, so I had to find the iconic Russian scene that was not Moscow.  Thirty or so kilometers from Saint Petersburg is the town of Pushkin.  It is the location of the summer residence of the Russian Tsars.  There is Catherine Palace, a Rococo palace where Catherin the Great tried to out Europe the Europeans.  There she created a Versailles of the North.  There I found my 1000 Words.

Our traveling companions found Catherine Palace to be ideal to show friends on their return home.  Many photos were taken by our group and the other tour groups visiting there that day.

I could have made a painting of the elaborate orthodox top works of the chapel but that is only the places part of people places and things.  So, I decided that painting our photographers was the perfect approach.  Present was the iconic Russian landmark and people doing ordinary things that tourists do.  They were making memories and so was I.

So why title the painting 1000 Words?  I had been watching Jeopardy and realized that the figures in the painting were making their own photographs.  Without much more than that, the answer in the form of a question is, what is a photograph worth.  You be the judge.