l'autunno viaggia

Fall break was wonderful! I was able to visit Venice again and see the Architecture Biennale. Had some more fantastic Italian food before flying off to Belgium! These first couple watercolors are from Venice, by the entrance to the Biennale and inside the Arsenalle by the old shipping docks.

I was not able to get a lot of sketching done in Belgium. It was far too amazing and time consuming being gloriously lazy at last, and too cold to stand outside for long periods of time! So while we lazed inside where it was warm, I sketched the living room of our hosts in Gent.  
After Gent, I flew south...way south...to Sicily! We stayed in Palermo for 3 nights and explored around the city. We had some time to sketch at the Palermo Cathedral before venturing to the Cappuccini Catacombes....
(a crooked sketch of the Palermo Cathedral...)

One of the residents in the Professor section at the catacombs...

On our last day, Madalyn and I took a train to Cefalu, a tiny little beach town an hour away from Palermo. It was gorgeous and possibly one of my new favorite cities. We had a lot of time to kill waiting for restaurants to open for dinner so we hung out in this little archway and waited with a bottle of Sicilian wine...

Fall is almost gone back here in Toscana. I have a little over a month and a half left here before it is time to find new adventures in the states... I still have over 1/4 of my sketchbook to fill too. Time for lots of sketching! (maybe a trip to Spain to help fill it too)...

Racing through Gent

I was able to spend 5 days during this past week in Belgium, where the main mode of transportation is with bikes! So regardless of how cold it was or how much it was raining, we were always racing around the city from one place to the next on our bikes...


Chocolate and Trees...

An odd assortment of sketches before I leave on fall break. This next whirlwind of traveling will commence tomorrow morning with a trip to Venice. Thursday morning I head to Belgium to eat my weight in chocolate and waffles. Then Monday I fly to Sicily via Milan for 3 days in southern Italy! I am so excited to break out the backpack and explore again...and ofcourse, make some new sketches and watercolors...

On to the sketches!
This past week I was able to tag along with Cal Poly on their trip to Villa Lante, near Viterbo.
Overwhelmingly gorgeous garden with so many fountains and ancient trees...felt like something out of the Secret Garden....
Afterwards, we stopped by the outlet mall in Valdechiana....odd place that was very much like California outdoor malls. Complete with cute Italian children and a carousel.

 Quick sketch in the dark during a classical guitar concert here at Santa Chiara.

The EuroChocolate Festival in Perugia! Delicious!!!

Time to pack! Until the next post of Venice, Belgium and Sicily!
A presto!


Fiat Cinque Cento

The theme for this weeks Illustration Friday is: transportation.
Finally gave me a reason to sit down and stare at one of my favorite (and smallest) cars in Italy, the Fiat Cinque Cento.


Mercoledì di acquarello!

Last week I was accepted to participate with the site Watercolor Wednesdays! This is my first attempt at their challenges. I am excited! It will be fun to illustrate more, both for Illustration Friday and Watercolor Wednesdays.
This first weeks challenge was: Bewitching Hour. I'm not quite ready to fully delve into Halloween yet but I am loving the fall weather here in Toscana!


Toscana nell'autunno

The fall session is in full swing now, and so is the fall weather! I need to take the time to paint the vines growing in the courtyard before they lose their bright red color...

During the longer sessions at Santa Chiara, every Wednesday the schools go on field trips and the RCs can tag along if there's room. This week I went with Cal Poly to La Celle, a private collection or large scale, outdoor sculptures and installations. We also went to Pienza and Montepulciano. While they were in museums, I took some time to mosey around...

Montepulciano (experimenting a little...)


Beneath...a fort!

This weeks topic for Illustration Friday is Beneath.
It's starting to turn into fall here and all I'd love to do on these chilly days is curl up under a blanket or inside a fort for the afternoon....