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!

Palermo's Finest.web

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

Isle du Saint Louis.Paris.web

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!

Painter.Pont de la Tournelle.Paris.web

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

Detail.PalaisGarnier.Paris.web

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.

Carol sketching.Varenna.web

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.

MedievalTimberframe.Bologna.web

In Tuscany it was all about the views.

Tuscan View.Italy.web

Then there’s our time in Istria in Croatia,

Istrian Town.web

LanguedocView.web

the province of Languedoc in FranceIstrian View.Croatia.web

 

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

Portree.IsleofSkye.Scotland.web

Duart Castle.Scotland.web

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

Painting in Gardens

For the past two years, in July, as part of the National Garden Festival here in my home city of Buffalo I have taken part in the Artists in Gardens, a very enjoyable opportunity for local artists to sit in beautiful gardens and paint. These gardens are open to the public the same time each week, Thursdays and Fridays. I painted in four gardens this year and twice in the same garden last year.  I also enjoy sketching and painting in my own garden.

http://nationalgardenfestival.com/garden/opengardens.asp

Here I am hard at work on a pen and ink sketch of Ellie Dorritie’s front yard. I haven’t finished the watercolor additions yet, but here’s the sketch too.  A great cottage on Little Summer Street in Buffalo.
IMG_3411Dorritie drawing

I also painted at Arlan and Dominic’s Garden on Norwood Avenue. Arlan and Dom have been involved in the Garden Walk Buffalo since its inception. They have a wonderful victorian home and a yard full of surprises. As a former architect I was drawn to their back porch and back elevation.

gardenwalkbuffalo.com

PetersandDeFilippoGarden 2015.web

 I drew this in pen and ink and added the watercolor while I enjoyed ice tea and even birthday cake made by Dominic. What lovely people!

There were two other homes whose gardens I painted, one the Timlins’ on Park Street. The point of view was challenging, but I think I did an ok job.This is a beautiful brick home with a very  sensitive entry and garage addition. Nicely done!

Timlen.web

The last garden I painted in I also painted in for the 2014 Artists in Gardens. 8 Paths Garden is unlike any other I have seen. Such a eye and attention to detail. The gardener has an unusual selection of plants, some that I’ve never seen before.

2014 8 paths 2014 8 paths 2

Image 68 paths 2015.web

I also like to paint and sketch in my own garden. Here are a few from the last three years of Garden Walks, together with some photos of our garden.

 5.Tom's Garden Fence.2013.web 4.Last Night - Open Garden.web our garden.web3.SummerBackyard .ElmwoodVillage 2013.web

pansies our house front hellstrip  begonias backyard2 backyard photo

I also like to pick flowers and make bouquets just as my father the gardener used to pick so that my mom the artistic flower arranger could work her magic. Every bouquet reminds me of them.

bouquet 2 bouquet 1 front hellstrip