October 30, 2007

Italy 2007

We took an overnight train from Burcey Station in Paris to Florence, Italy - quite an adventure - and a story for another time ;-0.
We arrived in Florence at 7;30 am. A taxi was hard to find but we eventually made it to our hotel the J&J on Via d Mezzo. As we waited in their lobby for our room's preparation - I had to sketch the ceiling . The Italians certainly know their arched/domed ceilings!
Our quaint room overlooked the breakfast courtyard and I attempted to sketch it - Rather fussy results and I should have tried it again - but too much else to see and do !
The Duomo is the center of Florence and quite a presence it is!! We were frequently lost and searching for a glimpse of the Duomo to get our bearings. With narrow streets and buildings 3 floors or so high it was often hard to find the Duomo. It is so gorgeous and so old (1100AD) and simply an amazing sight glistening in the Sun.
On our 3rd open air double decker bus tour we saw the major sites of Florence and touched on the amazing history and headed up into the hills of Fiesole - the Beverly Hills of Florence. Breathtaking views of Florence and the tuscan hills beyond. At the top of Fiesole stands this tower and we sat long enough to get a basic sketch. This area definitely deserves more time.
More Florence sketches to come later Then on to Roma!

October 28, 2007

Sennilier on the Seine & EDM 142 HOT

I never enjoyed the mere Idea of being an 'artist' more than when I visited the Sennilier shop in Paris. This shop is well over 100 years old and primarily the same as it opened. Facing the Seine on quai Voltaire, it was a short walk from our hotel and a definite destination for ME. To think Cezanne, Gauguin, Kandinsky and Picasso among many others shopped the same aisles and climbed the same steep narrow steps to the other floors - - - it is musty and cramped but vibrates with creative energy. Of course I had to buy something (and take a picture!) I had all the supplies I needed but a bright golden "french" yellow leather bound journal set caught my eye - It encased a nice white wc journal and outside a pocket of WC pencils, a small brush and the flap was held closed by a graphite pencil - I will treasure it forever.
Then strolling the Seine viewing the artists at work and their art for sale - ah such an artist's dream. I understand why Paris is for Lovers, lovers of any and everything, as it is so sensual. Inspired by our own Laura from Laruelines and Ronnel from Africantapestry and Casey from rue Manuel bis and Carol of Paris Breakfasts (among others) I headed to my first visit to Paris with such anticipation. With only three days I fell in love with Paris, Including the Patisseries and Macarons which are quite simply - heaven. I had a sketch started - and finished for my travel journal and likewise it fits the EDM challenge HOT #142 (cappuccino)
Originally I had another post planned for #142 Hot - it was an experiment which got away from me ;0 but it was fun and I decided to include it just because - NE color is HOT now.

October 26, 2007

PARIS !!!!!

We departed London on the Eurostar to pass through the 'chunnel' and on to Paris. What
a Luxurious trip. Wine with a wonderful luncheon, and a hot towel to freshen up afterward, then relax and enjoy the french countryside.
This is a snippet of the view from our BACK bedroom window. We stayed at the Madison Hotel , #143 on Saint Germain - right across from the lovely St Germain Des-Pres church. The Madison is a boutique hotel and 'tres french'. The location was perfect. Our Jr. suite was yellow and blue and simply lovely (even had 2 1/2 bathrooms!!)
Oh La La - I LOVE Paris! It was clean and bright and dazzling and full of Fabulous-ness every where we looked. And the people we met were so friendly!!! Only three short days to try to see it All? We did our best, taking the open air bus tour and walking miles and miles each day - eating (ah the macarons) , shopping, snapping pictures and wishing we had more time. So much more to do!!!! (next time!)
We spent quite a bit of time around Notre Dame Cathedral. At one point we stopped and sat on a bench under some trees and sketched UNTIL a pigeon made a depost on the head of my friend - she would not let me take that picture - but I did start this sketch on site and took a pix to finish later. What a glorious structure from every angle , I will go on the tour some day.
While in Paris the News was Marcel Marceau died in Paris - this sketch was from the Newspaper article.
Ahhh the 'Tour de Eiffel' - so romantic, so statuesque so Awesome. Our tour bus circled the monument and I took many pictures. The next day in our travels we walked from our hotel to the tower, under, around and everything but UP the tower (long , long lines) some day though --- I did sketch this view as we awaited the bus back toward our hotel.
Our hotel room on the top 8th floor gave us a distant view of the tower, amazing as it twinkles every hour at night- and look at my picture at sunset (from our room)
More Paris sketches to finish and post. My friend and I were pleasantly surprised to Love Paris so much and will soon plan our next extended visit to France. More to come.

October 24, 2007

More London

My evenings are spent completing sketches and working in others from my pictures. I so enjoy going back into the moment. This Thames River scene is from an open air bus tour. The London Eye caught my 'eye' This Pub caught our attention on our first day out trekking about. I forgot to note its name and my picture did not reveal it either. The inside was as 'fetching' as the facade. I had fish and chips (which I could not find from street vendors?) and my friend had a hamburger "well done" as the waitress insisted! Later I advised my friend about mad cow disease concerns ;-) We had quite a laugh about that. The Cass Art Store was right across the street (where I indulged in gorgeous supplies I did not need - well I went in because I Needed a pencil sharpener!!) I did buy several things on Sale, and the price seemed soooo reasonable as I ignored the exchange rate of almost $2 for 1 British Stirling - oh well I Had to have it all!
And of Course Westminster Abby - my first European cathedral - lovely setting in this sketch from my picture -

October 22, 2007

England Travels

My first trip hop scotching across the pond ;-) My best friend and I returned from Europe a couple of weeks ago and I did do some sketching (a dream come true) and I also did some picture taking and gawking and eating and shopping. Not nearly enough time and We Will return, often if possible. I have been busy working on completing some of my sketches and doing more from photos and memory, certainly not enough time to do all the on-site sketching I would have liked. Ahh sketching is reliving the moment and every time I see this journal I will " remember".
I bought this Union Jack vinyl zip tote in a tourist shop, it works perfectly for pens, pencils etc. At the Cass art shop I bought wc pencils and a new W&N wrapped journal which I LOVE ( along with several other items, I had to lug across Europe most lovingly!)
This little red phone booth is right across our favorite Starbucks (yes, I Needed good American coffee!) We had a latte each morning and sat and viewed the English world racing by for a bit - I did sketch this on site and added detail each mornings. Alas, we were in London only a scant 3 days, just enough to Know it is an amazing city (albeit expensive right now !) We will return and spend more time Everywhere we missed!!
This is the view out of our hotel (the Mayfair on Stratton) right off Piccadilly, near Green Park and Hyde Park and the Thames ;-) from here we walked to Buckingham Palace and and Picadelly Circus and Harrods and miles and miles of London streets. A lovely city with so much more to do and see.
Of course we HAD to do the double decker bus tour - a Great way to touch base with the major sites and take unobstructed pictures. The weather cooperated and we even had bright sunshine pne day. We bought a 2 day bus ticket and used the bus as our 'taxi' to revisit areas.
I love the Tower Bridge, it is my favorite bridge. I had to do this sketch from a picture I took from the bus as we traveled over the bridge - under the tower, I could sketch this from every angle over and over - so beautiful.
We decided to see Harrods as it was nearby - WOW I thought I had seen enough in fancy NYC department stores, but Nothing compares, almost an entertainment destination on it's own. I bought a tiny Harrods Stilton Cheese crock as a souvenir - which exploded on the way home in my suitcase ;-0 the crock survived but . . . . what a suitcase stench!
And of course Big Ben and Parliament - so stately and majestic - and yes it was a lovely clear scene as we toured by on our perfect upper level bus seats-
More posts to come as I complete them and get them loaded. And next comes Paris!!

October 18, 2007

EDM #141 Bristles

Thistle - The 'crown' and thorns are very bristle like and right now we are fighting them in the garden. We apparently have an unwanted variety that spreads and is exceedingly difficult to eradicate. The thistle flowers can be lovely but they can be menacing weeds that certainly cannot be pulled without risking MRSA - the thorns should be called nails.
This background did not work as planned but it was an interesting experiment.
Pitt pen, water color and wc pencils in journal

EDM 139,140

Two challenges in one - I do not like to do this but I am behind and have so many travel sketches to finish I simply must . I have to admit the travel sketches are calling me!! But I am dedicated to the challenges too so here we go. I had many more interesting "handle" ideas but this combined well with the envelope and I did have something to say on the whole subject. Pitt Pen and water color in journal

October 16, 2007

Ohio bound

My travel journals are back logged, both with posts to enter here and posts to just finish from everywhere.
I have been so fortunate to travel so much lately. Just before my Europe trip I attended my husband's Naval reunion.
The Reunion is held in a different location each year (in San Diego last Sept). and this year's was held on an Air Force Base in Ohio (Wright Patterson Base, Dayton OH) It seemed strange to hold it at an Air Force Base, but the location was perfect and lots of fun.
I had no idea Dayton was so filled
with history. The Wright Brothers were from Dayton and did their inventing here. The air force base is named after them and their original test flight 'strip' is still on base and preserved. The Dayton Wright Bros. museum is full of information as well. So intriguing especially when viewing the Kitty Hawk next to today's Stealth bombers and such.
The Air Force Museum on base houses three Presidential Air Force One planes, including Roosevelt's, and Kennedy's (where his body was transported and Johnson was sworn in on board in flight) it gave me shivers to walk through that plane.
The museum is Huge and covers every imaginable aspect of air flight- there are planes hanging above and many on the ground and some can be entered. The wall displays account specifics of war events and personnel and are filled with interesting accounts as well.
Granted I come from an Air Force family and was born
on an Air Force Base which would explain my genuine interest in this museum but my Navy husband was likewise enthralled and we even spent some free time back at the museum - I highly recommend it to any on in the Dayton area. It is a Free National Museum.
I did take a ton of pictures, and with our second trip back to the museum I stopped to sketch some things that caught my eye. (see entries) I could have sketched here all day long - but I did manage to get a flavor of the entire long weekend.
As we headed home I worked on my sketches on the plane, a young girl in front of me passed by my seat and stopped "That's Cool, what are you doing?" I showed her my pages and she was intrigued, I suggested she write and draw about her travels and she said she would, who knows maybe I created another sketcher?
I thoroughly enjoyed Dayton, of course there were Navy dinners and meetings and conversations with old friends, certainly recounts of their Vietnam days on the Destroyer Everett F Larson, DD830 in the Pacific arena - but Dayton offered much, much more. - Next year is Washington DC!!

October 8, 2007

EDM #138 Soft

We arrived in Florence Italy around 9 am at the Hotel J&J on Via d Mezzo. Our room was not ready so we relaxed in the breakfast room - the ceiling arches were so lovely and 'softly" lit I had to try to sketch them. I did not achieve the subtly roundness of the domes but the soft golden color is not too far off.
WC Pencil in W& N journal

EDM #137 On/Off

A snippet of our Florence Italy hotel room - the lovely lamp - on/off obviously - such lovely colors actually remind me of Paris.
Pencil, watercolor in W&N journal

EDM #136 Alive

Alive one moment and gone the next. Marcel Marceau died in Paris the day we arrived. This sketch is from his picture in the Paris newspapers.

Dewert pencil and watercolor in W&N journal

EDM #135 Salad

My attempt at 'Insalade Caprese" which we had in a cafe on the Piazza Via de Croce in Florence Italy. So fresh and light and wonderful
When ever I have this simple salad I will be taken back to Italy.
Pencil and Watercolor in new W&N journal.