Quarto the traveling sketchbook: update IV

How did two months just pass by so quickly?! In just over a week, I'll be making the reverse hellish trip back to California. Which is daunting. I'm excited to see everyone back home but this place is always so hard to leave. The food, the people, the sites...things you just can't get back home. 

One thing that I started doing this summer was taking photos of Quarto with the actual location I just sketched. I LOVE this series of photos! It's one thing to have a sketch to remember the place, but the combination of the sketch and the exact spot at that exact moment I sketched it is something really unique for me. Sometimes I can get the whole scene, other times it's just a little bit of the place. Either way I really love the double documentation of a place. 

1. My friend Susie and I climbed up the Campanile in Florence. Originally she wanted to do the Duomo but the line wrapping halfway around the back of the dome changed our minds. In the end, the bell tower had better views of the Duomo and some shady spots to sketch and read! 
2. The most perfect little mint Vespa! I sketched it first and then watercolored a postcard of it. Once I get home, these little postcards are going straight to the Notional Notions Etsy shop! I haven't been this excited for a shop update in a long time! 
3. The Anfiteatro here in Lucca. I've been working on this sketch for most of the summer. Which meant getting a gelato every time to claim my same vantage point...what a shame.
4. Piazza San Frediano was never really on my list of places to sketch but I'm so glad that I got pushed to (via some suggestions on Instagram). Such a pretty space.

5. One day I want to own a vintage Fiat 500. It's the cutest car (sorry VW Bug...)
6. I took a day trip to Siena last week, just in time to see it set up for the Palio race this weekend. I love this space, and it was fun to see it set up for the traditional horse race. Seeing the actual track set up makes imagining the horse race seem all the more dangerous. 
7. A visit to Siena isn't complete without visiting my favorite restaurant, Osteria Nonna Gina. Stuffed gnocchi in a secret sauce, fried zucchini blossoms, fresh focaccia, Chianti and a bit of Amaretto for a digestivo...love! 
8. I first sketched the Siena Duomo as a student but I never finished that sketch. It was nice to finally sit down and document the whole crazy beast. The next hard bit was finding my favorite part of the inlaid sidewalks around it to photograph Quarto with. 

Hopefully I'll be able to do another Quarto update before I leave. If not, the next time you see Quarto (if not on Instagram) will be once she's all scanned up and printed for the next Sketchy Notions shop update! 

Did you miss the other updates? Update I  | Update II | Update III


  1. I think it's so amazing how your create beautiful art to remember where you have been. Such an amazing and creative idea. And your work is so beautiful. I would love to try this one day!

  2. I've been liking all your instagram posts. I wish I had the patiences to sit down and sketch things. I guess I'm just not in love with my surroundings to be willing to put the effort in for that. But you're seriously one of my inspirations for sketching out in the real world instead of using photos as references.

  3. I LOVED how you included the actual place with your spin on it. <3
    you are always so talented, and I have seriously loved seeing your trip updates on instagram and on here.
    basically I'm climbing into your carry-on the next time you go!

  4. so beautiful, it can't be real!

  5. You are so talented, and these photos are beautiful! I just bought a Fiat 500 but it's a new one, not vintage... I still love it!

  6. Wow... so talented....who needs camera when you can capture things with your art... loved it... :) loved reading your posts and loved your art work...



Comments! I love comments!