While studying in Venice, I became fascinated by the number of masks I was seeing all over the watery city and the history behind them. They were peering from behind curtains in small boutiques and appearing in the window displays of restaurants and antique shops with equal frequency. The workshops of mask makers were suddenly everywhere. I often saw the strange disguies in the paintings I was studying too. I discovered the work of Venetian painter, Pietro Longhi (1701-1785) while wandering through the Ca' Rezzonico Museum. With masquerade paintings like Clara the Rhinoceros, The Tooth Extractor, The Ridotto, and The Parlour, he quickly became one of my favorite painters. Below are some of my paintings from my days in Italy. In between painting on site, I tried to imitate the subjects of the old master painters while adding a little of my own colorful flair.