We spent a few days on the Adriatic coast where we managed to get a couple of beach days in. The Italian beaches we saw were so unlike Cape Cod. They were divided up into concessions and each one had rows upon rows of beach chairs under brightly colored umbrellas that you could rent for the day.
In contrast, a couple of weeks before our trip we visited Cape Cod and I did these sketches, the first in Wellfleet and the second at Sagamore Beach.
Another thing Italian beaches have that Cape Cod doesn’t is palm trees, one of my favorite drawing subjects. I couldn’t resist doing a couple of pictures of the one visible from our balcony.
We had the great fortune of spending the last two weeks in Italy. It was a spectacular trip. Artistically, it was very inspiring, but we were so busy visiting places that there was not much time for drawing.
I am someone who has sought beauty in nature rather than in the works of man, but here was a place where men had created things that challenged and surpassed the natural world. Almost everywhere we went the paintings, the architecture, the stone work, and the sculptures were overwhelmingly beautiful. We visited Rome, Florence, and about a half dozen little hilltop medieval walled villages. We saw the Uffizi and Academy museums (the home of Michelangelo’s David), Il Duomo and the Sistine Chapel. We saw the birthplace of Raffael, the ancient Roman ruins, and dozens of unassuming stone churches with walls and ceilings covered with amazing artwork. The audacity of it all was inspiring.
We walked many miles each day, going from one incredible sight to the next. Most of the drawing I got done was when we retired to our room to rest up, and it was mostly of the views we could see from our windows. This was the view of the hillside from our balcony in Gabbici Mare. I was so wrapped up in drawing this that I didn’t hear Denise ringing the bell trying to get back into our room. She finally had to go get someone from the front desk to let her in.
This is out the window of our place in Florence. I loved the tiled roofs. When you went out the front door and looked to the right Il Duomo towered over us.
These two, a charcoal and a watercolor, were done while staying in a tiny cluster of buildings called San Donato, located a short distance from the walled city of San Gimignano.
Our last few days were spent in rooms in an actual palace in Rome where the young Napoleon III once lived. This was the view out the window of our sitting room.
Some of the best work I've done isn't hanging on a wall; it's sitting in a box in my closet that's full of my old sketch books. I fill up one or two books each year. Some of the sketches end up as a basis of a more formal work, but most don't. They’re more important to me as a pictorial diary and also as on-going training; learning to really see and to understand shape, light and color.
This blog is to share my sketches as well as my sketching experiences.