Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sketchbook Journeys: Savannah, Georgia

My husband and I recently celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary with a trip to Savannah, Georgia ...
(Click any picture to enlarge)

 (Watercolor & ink in a Canson 10" x 7" watercolor sketchbook) My favorite sketch from our trip.

What a beautiful old city! The historic area has hundreds of perfectly maintained homes from the 18th and 19th centuries, each one a unique architectural gem. Ancient live oak trees hung with Spanish moss arc over the long boulevards, forming lush, leafy green tunnels. We enjoyed fantastic low-country cooking, and I think I tasted the pralines at every candy shop in downtown Savannah!

Tybee Island was only 15 minutes from downtown, so we had a chance to enjoy some beach time when we needed a break from the bustle of the city. (And I brought home another addition to my collection of sand from beaches around the world.)
10" x 7", watercolor & ink

I love to sketch on location, but sometimes it's just not possible, like when we were walking on the beach at Tybee Island. The gale-force winds would have blown my sketchbook right down the beach and into the water if I had had the temerity to attempt a drawing. So I snapped some photos and used them later that day as a reference to paint from, back in the cozy cocoon of our hotel room. 

I'm always up for learning a little more about American history, so we visited Fort Pulaski, situated between Savannah and Tybee Island. It was a chilly day and the wind was really whipping out there along the coast, but inside the fort I was sheltered as I plopped down in the grass on the parade ground to draw this sketch...

10" x 7", watercolor & ink

It might benefit from the addition of a few birds in the sky, but I'm in love with the way the wet-in-wet watercolor perfectly portrays the windswept sky I saw that day. I just can't bring myself to touch it now.

Below is another view of the fort. I was attracted to the palm trees, but the sketch itself turned out to be a little boring, so I jazzed up the page with pizza! I was overjoyed to find a restaurant within walking distance of our hotel that served out-of-this-world gluten-free pizza; it definitely deserved commemoration in my travel journal. That's my hubbie, Fred, enjoying his own pie. I certainly wasn't offering to share mine!

10" x 7", watercolor & ink

We had fantastic meals every day we were in Savannah. The first evening, we enjoyed a huge seafood feast at the Crab Shack on Tybee Island. The next day's lunch was an Irish sampler at an Irish pub on the waterfront. Watching the boat traffic on the river was really fascinating - huge barges, tugboats, and sightseeing riverboats. We even had a front row seat when two Canadian navy ships docked right in front of the restaurant.

10" x 7", watercolor & ink

Savannah's City Market was just a block from our hotel and we enjoyed wandering along, popping into quaint little shops, and stopping for a cup of steaming hot espresso to warm us up. I sat on a bench under a sprawling live oak tree to draw the sketch below.

10" x 7", watercolor & ink

I'd love to go back to Savannah when the weather is warm and flowers are blooming. I want to spend hours sitting in a shady square, listening to a splashing fountain, sketching to my heart's content. We only got a taste of this lovely town, and, although I'm not usually drawn to cities, there's a spirit and soul to this place that has me longing to return.
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