Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sketchbook Journeys - Italy: Day 5 (Lazise)

(In my last post I wrote about visiting a winery near Lake Garda, in northern Italy. Here are two more journal pages from that day.)

We finished up our visit at Villa Monteleone in the kitchen, where we stood warming ourselves by the old stone fireplace as the owner, Lucia, told us about the history of the place and the story of how she came to live there.

10" x 7", ink & watercolor (text was done with Pitt Artist's Pen, size S, sketch was drawn with Noodler's Creaper pen & Lexington gray ink)

I included a sketch of the kitchen sink in my journal, because it was so unusual. It's the original one from the 1700s, and the whole slab of pink marble, which had the sink cut into it, was installed on an angle so that water would drain to the left. There were metal hooks hanging from the marble shelf above, used to hang water buckets from for hundreds of years. I think it's so cool that, down through the centuries, the various owners of the villa have used and preserved their eccentric kitchen sink rather than ripping it out and installing a modern one. They do enjoy one modern amenity, however...running water!


To add a little color to the page, I painted a sprig of lavender up the left side and across the center where it serves as a natural divider between two sections of text.

After we left the winery, we headed west to Lake Garda and the historic town of Lazise. It's the site of a 13th century castle, and within the castle walls is a thriving village of retail shops, restaurants, and homes. It was a Sunday afternoon when we were there, and it was brimming with Italian families walking their dogs, riding bikes, and just relaxing at the outdoor cafes with a gelato or a glass of wine.

I wish we'd had more time to check out all the neat shops, but after strolling by the harbor and wandering the streets for awhile (and treating ourselves to a double scoop of gelato!), we settled in to sketch the waterfront.

I loved the lamp posts and wanted to make them a predominant feature in my sketch, along with the oddly round evergreen tree near the restaurant in the center of the sketch. Lazise was such a happy, pretty place and seemed to call for bright, clear colors in my painting.

During my time in Italy, I was struck by the way the Italians seem to place a high priority on relaxing and spending time with family on the weekends, especially on Sunday afternoons. There's a time for work and a time to put work aside and focus on the truly important things in life. It was a good lesson for me.

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