In the end of november I went for an architectural four day field trip and took the opportunity to sketch on the go. We were heading to the west, to the northern Italy, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Austria. As it turned out, we experienced many architectural hightlights, but of course, I kept my eyes opened for the landscape context. And it was a sketching challenge too. This first series was sketched while riding the bus through the valley of river Po. Flat autumn landscapes, distant mountains to the north and scattered farms.
I left Casa Morra (previous montastery where I stayed – the sketch of the view from the terrace was done some days earlier) early enough, to sketch the staircase at the main entrance.
The sketchbook was full and I was already adding some additional pages. It was time to go home!
On monday, June 9, the day after III. Naples Urban sketchers Workshop 2014 I walked the streets of Naples on my own. I stopped at fully stocked Ramaglia art store and bought some beautiful sicilian watercolour paper for my handmade sketchbooks and portuguese water-soluble graphite. Then I visited the San Severo chapel and took some time to sketch (the graphite has been useful) impressive stone figures, the most famous of them being The veiled christ.
The sunday afternoon, June 8 the last sketchcrawl of the III. Naples Urban sketchers Workshop 2014 took place at the Palazzo Reale where we had a magnificent view of Mount Vesuvio.
A smaller group of sketchers ended the day with a dinner at Piazza Bellini, a busy evening meeting place. At one end of the piazza there are still visible ancient greek remains dated from the 4th ct BC. They reminded me, that this city has layers and layers history.
On June 8, the last day of the III. Naples Urban sketchers Workshop 2014 we met at the Toledo subway station, where I sketched the horseman sculpture. Then we continued toward the Quartieri spagnoli. Quarteri spagnoli is a part of Naples, where streets get really narrow, where loundry hangs from almost every balcony of the five story buildings and where you don’t meet many tourists. However it is bustling with neighbourhood life and the urban art project, which started somewhere in 2009 added a new layer to its life. So far, more than 200 wall art pieces have been painted, mostly on the doors but also elsewhere, all around the area. We chose one route and tried to capture some of the paintings in their urban context to develop own imaginary story. The instructors Simo, Caroline, Nina and Federico were sketching along.
I draw a small map on site to pin point the locations, where I sketched.
The third day of the III. Naples Urban sketchers Workshop 2014 continued at the Mercato di Montesanto, where we ‘collected the city’ with instructor Nina Johansson. By using different techniques and layouts we developed sensibility to structuring the place we experienced, no matter its order or disorder. Karen showed me the use of graphite rubbing on transparent paper to collect the tactile textures.
On june, 7, the third day of the III. Naples Urban sketchers Workshop 2014 we gathered at Cimitero delle Fontanelle. In the dark chambers, cut into the tuffa bedrock, peoples’ remains were buried or brought post mortem since the 17th century onwards. Later a cult of devotion to sculls developed which lasted until the Cemetery was closed down. In the silence of respect we were sketching the man made caves, the bones and skullst arrangements and the signs of still present devotion to the dead.
The second day, June 6, of the III. Naples Urban sketchers Workshop 2014 wasn’t finished yet. In the evening we left the crowded Naples streets and entered the quite and dark courtyards of the old houses only to climb narrow stairs to reach a secret garden, where Riot Studio opened up its doors. The tree actors of Teatri 35 gave us most powerful performance; live sketches – tableaux vivants- of the famous artists’ paintings of the past, from Caravaggio’s Crocifissione di Sant Andrea to Reni’s Morte di Cleopatra. Mesmerising! Caroline Peyron and Simonetta Capecchi drew in indian ink beautiful black and red figures of the poses, which were then projected on the screen behind the group. And I hardly managed to gesture draw most of the poses, which lasted but a few seconds each.