Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My Italian Sketchbook

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Italy where we visited Padua, Venice, Vicenza, Verona, and Florence. It was a wonderful trip, but with so much to see and do, we really need to go back again.

Even though we spent much of each day visiting cathedrals, galleries, parks, and palaces, there was still time to get in some sketching.

I liked the fact that these monks, dressed in the same style as the Anthony who was later canonized, now have a web site.

There aren't just lions in Venice. They're also in all the other cities we visited and they are a challenge for me to draw.

In the foreground, you'll see the glasses of spritz and Compari that everyone in Padova seems to drink. 

At the Roman arena in Verona, we were more impressed with the exterior than the interior, until one of the visitors stood in the center and treated us all to a spontaneous aria.

The Prato della Valle, in Padova, was a great place to sketch until I was driven away by the many pigeons.

As usual, I have several sketches of ironwork. This one I drew while waiting to head to Florence.

It was off-and-on rainy in Florence, but we had a very nice morning in a quiet garden where I sketched across the Arno. In the upper left of the sky, you will see a mosquito.

This lion statue looked so affronted to have a pigeon on his head.

We had this view from our hotel window. 

While I sketched the Brunelleschi sculpture, two Italian women watched and then humorously, we all three tried to have a conversation as they looked through my sketchbook, making all the appropriate gestures and sounds.

On a rainy day, we had a delicious lunch in a cozy restaurant with a wood stoked oven. My Tuscan soup sampler, delicious fresh focaccia, and glass of red wine, were perfect for the chilly day.

As I was sketching this, my stomach lurched when I noticed the tiny people looking over the top of the duomo--not for me.

I decided that half of this very elaborate church with so many different styles, was plenty for me to draw.

This last sketch isn't mine at all. It was drawn by Laura, from Madrid, who I caught sketching me in the Florence airport as we waited for our flight. It was an hour late, but she and I had a delightful conversation about sketching and art, her studies in Florence and her future as a children's book illustrator. In the meantime, I hoped to make an Urban Sketcher of her.

Later, on the plane, the woman across the aisle from me was sketching her daughter, so once again, I had another lovely conversation about sketching and art. 

It was a great trip, from beginning to end, filled with gorgeous sights, delicious food, and friendly,  marvelous people. I can't wait to go again!


deb rossi said...

Wonderful....an amazing bunch of sketches. Hard to find my very favorite. One has to be the panorama of Firenze...love the identifiers too. Another is the Basilica of St Anthony with just a suggestion of the detail. Love it. I recognize the Kiowa Pecan in the Padova scene....congratulations on a wonderful sketchbook. Also love the stories of the Italian ladies and other sketchers.

Vicky said...

Thanks so much, Deb. You're right about your Kiowa Pecan. It was perfect for so much in Italy.

Janene said...

Your sketches transported me to Italy! The warm colors,ironwork, glasses of wine...and the complex architecture...how did you do that!? I am so impressed with your beautiful work.

Vicky said...

Thank you very much, Janene. Italy was such a wonderful place to sketch!

helen said...

What a wonderful place to visit and your sketches are lovely. Thanks for sharing.

Vicky said...

Thank you, Helen.

Gregg said...

Really nice sketches Vicky, I want to see them in person. I especially liked the one of Florence with the building crane.