Sketching in Italy, Fall 2016, Part 3

Let me begin with analogy to my blog. I haven’t posted since October of 2017, and so much has happened in the last 15 months! We travelled to Viet Nam in late fall of 2017, and to  Piemonte and Lake Como in September 2018. We’ve spent two weeks of February every year in Key West, and will be leaving for this year’s Key West adventure in a week!

Back to September of 2016, we left San Marino, and drove through Urbino, to Ascoli Piceno; day trips around Abruzzo,  on to Sulmona, more day trips, and then on to the coast to Termoli and to our first stop in Puglia – Vieste.”’

 

Leaving Ascoli Piceno after a relaxed morning and lunch in the Cafe Meletti on the Piazza del Popolo, we set out on a long drive to Sulmona, our home base for our explorations in Abruzzo. Our first day began with a walk through the weekly market in Piazza Garibaldi. Very cool. Tom and I are huge fans of public markets. We left mid morning for adventures in Cascio, Castel del Monte, Villa Lago, Scanno, and Introdaqua.

One of the many friendly vendors at the Sulmona market

Ilio DiPaolo’s hometown – Introdacqua!

The man-made lake at Scanno

Villa Lago, L’Aquila

A road trip of beautiful views

View from Via del Municipo, Castel del Monte

The next leg of our trip will begin with Part 4 of Sketching in Italy, Fall 2016.

Captured Travels

These past months of January and February 2016 have been so intense! My solo show, Captured Travels opened with a beautiful, well-attended reception at Betty’s Restaurant, 370 Virginia Street in Buffalo, on Monday night, January 25, 2016, and will be on view through March 20th. I collected brand new and some older paintings, both studio and plein air, and sketches, and put them all together. Kathleen Sherin did a marvelous job curating and hanging the show, and I sold 10 of the 23 pieces on opening night!

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This is a very recent painting that graced the publicity for the show, Palermo’s Finest. I could have sold it several times!

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This is a plein air painting, watercolor and ink, from our trip this past fall to Paris. The painting of the Pont de la Tournelle below is from a photo Tom took of me painting the Isle du Saint Louis above!

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Two more ink and watercolor paintings are of the Paris Backyards and Cimitiere du Pere-LaChaise, Paris.

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My architectural background and love for detail comes out in this ink sketch of a Detail from the Palais Garnier in Paris.

These two plein air ink and watercolor paintings from Varenna on Lake Como “capture”

 

I have painted many views of the towns and landscape around Lake Como.

Perledo above Varenna, with the “hand of God light”, and the Villa Monastero, one of two beautiful villas open to the public along Lake Como in Varenna.

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Here I am painting in Varenna.

The first year that I started to sketch when we travelled was 2010 when we spent some time in Cinque Terre, Italy. These two ink sketches are from there.

We also visited Bologna where we were fascinated by the medieval timber frame architecture.

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In Tuscany it was all about the views.

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Then there’s our time in Istria in Croatia,

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the province of Languedoc in FranceIstrian View.Croatia.web

 

and Scotland, Portree near the Isle of Skye and the Duart Castle.

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We will continue to travel as long as we can and I will continue to capture our travels in sketchbooks, plein air paintings, and studio paintings. Such a rewarding time.

Key West 2016

Tom and I were fortunate to be able to escape Buffalo’s winter for two weeks in February. We love Key West, the architecture, the plants, the birds, the people, the arts community, the beaches – very different from the rest of Florida, and enjoyable for both of us, no small task!

I sketch in Key West, and I painted twice with the Key West Plein Air Painters. I also took a class from Sean Callahan at the Studios of Key West. It was a good two weeks for me. I love to draw in my 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook, using ink pens, and watercolors. I often sketched on site and then add watercolor at the kitchen table. That’s how these sketches were done.

Sometimes I don’t add any color. The architecture or plant form is enough.

Sometimes I work with both ink and watercolor on site. These are small “sketch paintings.”

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The beach scene from Englewood, Florida, spans an open Moleskine. I tried using different colored pens when we were waiting for dinner and enjoying the surroundings at Blue Heaven.  Not sure that this one is successful, but it is fun.

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This ink sketch and the watercolor were both done at the kitchen table after a disappointing failure on site. We were having a lovely brunch at La Creperie. My perspective was too off to complete, so I worked from a photograph on Tom’s iPad. Much better.

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Every time we visit Key West, I sketch or paint the sea grape.  I love the way light shines through brightening its colors.  This is pen and watercolor pencil minus the water.

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I enjoyed painting with the Key West Plein Air Painters. It was a challenge.  The light and architectural and plant forms are so different from Buffalo.  It will take me some years to become comfortable. These are the two paintings I did, no ink in either.

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For fun I sat in on two sessions of a watercolor class at the Studios at Key West.  The teacher artist, Sean Callahan and I do not have similar approaches to watercolor, but it’s always interesting to keep an open mind. Everyone worked off the same photograph provided by Sean. Here’s my painting from the first week, done on the kitchen table. I couldn’t complete the second one, instead I sketched Sean and then added the subject, yellow eggs!!! over the top of my sketch. Pretty silly, it expresses my frustration.

I reinforced what I already know, I love to sketch and paint my surroundings, not from others photographs.

Thank you to Joanne Sloan for introducing me to the Key West Plein Air Painters!

 

 

Paris by Sketch

My husband and fellow traveller Tom and I spent a month in Paris in an apartment North and West of the Pompidou Center, about a 10 minute walk. It was a great month. We walked and metroed and bussed, and drank cafe au lait, and ate and saw almost everything we wanted to see. I had planned to do 4-5 or even 6 paintings, and only did one. We learned a lesson, being don’t expect a lot of yourself when you are in a fabulous city like Paris.  Every day was too interesting and too full of new experiences to find time, say 3-4 hours, to sit down and paint. Next trip will be planned with a section of time in a fascinating city, and a section of time in a delightful town.

So, the only painting is of the Ile Saint Louis.

Paris painting

It’s an ink (pigma micron) and watercolor, 10″ x 15″. I sat on the banks of the Seine in the same place I had sat and sketched back in 2006 when we first visited Paris together.

It took me a few days, really two weeks, to forgive myself for not painting, but I did sketch everyday. I took my Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, 5″ x 8″, with me everywhere. Used pigma micron pens, some watercolor pencils and watercolor graphite pencils, and filled the book with items we collected, sketches and daily journal entries. I love doing this.  It adds a lot to our trips for me, and serves as a good record for Tom when he creates his videos of our travels for youtube.  His youtube name is Graygeek.

So, here are the pages from my book.  Hope you enjoy them.

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The sketch on the left is from our dinner table the first night in our neighborhood. On the right is from our coffee break near the Pompidou.

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There are always things to draw. Left is shelves from a creperie on Ile St outs, and right is a market on Rue Montorgueil in our neighborhood.

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Left is a wonderful Sicilian Restaurant near our apartment, and right is a very quickie after visiting the Musee du Quai Branly. Place de la Contrescarpe at the head of one of our favorite streets, Rue Mouffetard.

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Left a trip out to La Defense, and right Rue Cler.  So different, both fascinating sides of Paris.

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One of our favorite hidden treasures, Saint Paul Antique Village in le Marais, and the Eglise Saint Eustache at Les Halles for a 5 pm Sunday organ concert.

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A quick, very quick and unfinished sketch, during Richard Sack’s walking run, not far from Palais Royale, and a leisurely dinner sketch at Restaurant Le Taxi Jaune, a favorite.

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Musee Rodin, Paris, though under reconstruction, still a glorious place, and our back view out the kitchen window on Rue Saint Martin.

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At Metro station Abesses at the base of Montmartre, and a quick view from the top of Georges, the restaurant on the 6th floor of the Pompidou.

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Another quickie, this one from the steps of Sacre Coeur. Another sketch over coffee at Rue Montorgueil, our market street of choice.

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Our only day trip, to Giverney, and a sketch from the rooftop cafe at Musee Picasso.

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The magazine stand by our coffee stop one mid morning in the 2nd arrondissement, and a beautiful fountain, Fontaine de Louis Visconti at Square Louvois.

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We loved our metro ride to Saint Denis.  The basilica was wonderful, being lovingly restored, and we lucked into the Festival of Saint Denis, the town!

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Wandering through the sun dappled Cemetery Pere Lachaise. Quiet except for the gathering at Jim Morrison’s grave. Our view from Cafe de la Paix after being amazed by Opera Garnier.

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I loved Centre Pompidou, especially reconnecting with Sonia Delaunay. We understand why Parisians love Luxembourg Gardens, especially the Medici Fontain.

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The view from our balcony on Rue Saint Martin.  This is the church that has been adaptively reused as part of the Musee Arts et Metiers across the street.  We took many photos of this view and down toward Centre Pompidou whose rooftop we could see. A wonderful airbnb apartment we recommend to anyone thinking about a week or more in Paris.

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Our last night we stayed in the hotel on the Left Bank that I stayed in with friend Yvonne and her mom, 2001. The Hotel Pas de Calais has been renovated and is perfect, especially the living wall in the lobby.

So that’s it. We had a time unlike any other, and hope to return to Paris someday. Here’s a picture of me sketching, and another of Tom and me. Now that I’m home I have much to do.  Will post again soon!

t&c3c sketching

Seattle!

We just returned from a few sunny and warm days visiting Mike Palamuso, Tom’s son, in Seattle. What a wonderful city.

It’s a very long plane flight with a stopover in Chicago. I passed the time from Buffalo to Chicago sketching my surroundings in my new Moleskin. Used three different Pigma Micron pen sizes for clarity and interest.

on the plane

This is me sketching at the Thursday afternoon Queen Anne Farmers Market. Great food choices for lunch.  I had fish chowder. Really good. I look so serious.

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Here’s the sketch, using watercolor pencils, Derwent Inktense, with water! Very bright. Same Moleskin and Pigma Micron pens.

Queen Anne Market

Lots of exploring with Mike. This is the view from Magnolia Boulevard.

Magnolia Blvd overlook

Tom and I stopped first in Columbia City for a visit to my favorite store, Green Eileen! OMG. After lunch we drove to Seward Park for a great view of Mt. Rainier over Lake Washington.

Mt Rainier and Lake Washington

Our hotel in lower Queen Anne, the Mediterranean Inn, had a fabulous rooftop view. The view from our room looked in the opposite direction up Queen Anne hill. 

Seattle skyline

up Queen Anne

It felt good to sketch everyday.  Going to keep it up while we’re home. Buffalo is full of interesting places and views, vistas and details.

at the seashore

Carolina Beach view

This sketch is from my trip to visit my daughter and granddaughter in the Wilmington, NC area. We had a lovely lunch on an inland waterway in Carolina Beach.  Sketch took as long as it took to choose and get our lunch, probably 20 minutes with pigma micron felt pen in my trusty moleskin sketchbook.

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Then we went to the beach in Liz’s jeep wrangler. Carolina Beach. Beautiful family place. Nice and clean with great warm surf to play in.

Carolina Beach

This beach view is also in my moleskin, felt pen and my new Derwent intense watercolor pencils.

Wrightsville Beach

From my visit last Spring. Wrightsville Beach. Painted in my studio from a photo. Watercolor on arches paper.

I love visiting North Carolina!