Final Rome Sketches for the Year

One more post of Rome sketches, from the last few days we were there. The first is the view from our studio, looking out into Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. This space, like most Roman piazze, changes its character throughout the day. When the sun is beating down, it can be very quiet. Only the sweaty tourists plod through looking for some shade. But in the evening, the piazza comes alive with all types of people, and the street entertainers begin their shows. By morning, it's back to a peaceful, pleasant space ... that's when I did this drawing.
Next up is the funerary monument designed by Gianlorenzo Bernini in 1643, for the Dominican nun named Maria Raggi. I started this sketch one morning, and didn't get very far before I was forced to quit, as there was a funeral just beginning in the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. So I returned a few days before we left Rome to finish. The monument is attached to a column, but I left that out in favor of the monument itself.
The final two sketches are views of the street where we lived last year and this year (and perhaps again next year). The plan of the apartment, and a view of the front door, are here. It's a quiet street amid some very noisy streets in Trastevere, and I had been meaning to draw these views all summer. I finally got the chance, and the second sketch was the last page in my first Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, so it felt like a fitting end to the summer.


Leaving Rome

We head back to the states tomorrow morning, so this is one final post from Rome until next year. Certainly sad to be leaving, but the heat here during the past couple weeks has made it difficult to stay motivated for touring or sketching. I'm ready to get back to the cool nighttime temperatures of northern Idaho. It's been a fantastic summer, with a great group of students. I felt busier than I did last year for a variety of reasons, and I don't feel like I sketched as much as I would have liked. But I did accomplish quite a lot, so no complaints. Here are a few that I hadn't posted yet ... I may do another post in the next week with some other odds and ends. And then it's off to Portland for the Urban Sketchers Symposium! Can't believe that is coming up so fast, I'm really looking forward to seeing so many folks there.


More from the Moleskine

I keep finding myself in places where the subject for a sketch is clearly calling for a vertical approach. It's a little cumbersome to work with the Moleskine watercolor sketchbook in these situations, but I do love the paper. And perhaps I should push things even further in the vertical direction, like Matthew Cencich does here (great sketch!). I've got some more catching up to do, so here's a small collection from the past week. The first sketch here is from the Eremo delle Carceri outside Assisi. It's the hermitage where St. Francis used to hang out with his buddies and reconnect with nature. Beautiful spot ... my son Will and I walked up there from town - about 350 meters vertical over 4 kilometers of distance - and were rewarded by the beauty and cool temperatures of the small mountain valley. It's no wonder this was a place favored by St. Francis. 
The next sketch is from Perugia, at the cloister adjacent to San Domenico, which now houses the major archaeological museum of Umbria. This was a very quick drawing, done directly in watercolor.

This sketch is another one from Assisi, of the inside of the Porta San Giacomo ... I had intended to do a drawing of the facade of San Francesco, but was distracted by the sun in this quiet, sloping little street.

And finally, this was a watercolor I did just yesterday while I was out for sketching class with my students here in Rome. San Silvestro in Capite has a lovely small courtyard in front, dominated by the 12th century bell tower and a later facade. But my favorite aspects of this place are the building surrounding the space and the well-cared-for plants that help to make the space feel just a bit cooler on very hot days. And yesterday was very hot ... after enjoying spring-like weather from mid-May through almost the end of June, it seems as if the real heat of the summer has set in. Everyone is moving more slowly, and the demographics of our neighborhood have made a distinct change as Italians start heading for the sea and the tourists begin to take over in more evident fashion. Just two more weeks here, and then it's back to Moscow. A little more than a week after that, and I'll be in Portland for the Urban Sketcher's Symposium!

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