Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sketchbook Journeys - Italy: Days 5 & 6 (The countryside of Northern Italy)

My previous two journal entries (here & here) were about our day trip to Lake Garda, where we visited a winery and the walled town of Lazise. Here's one final page about that day, and the adventure we had finding our way home...

10" x 7", ink & watercolor in a Stillman & Birn Beta series sketchbook

I definitely had a love/hate relationship with our GPS on this trip. It was a great help 90% of the time, but the other 10% was enough to make me want to scream! I just had to include a tiny sketch of what the screen looked like the night it sent us off into dark oblivion on a highway to nowhere...

We were so relieved to make it home to our cozy house that night. Travel is always an adventure, isn't it?

Day 6 was a day to chill out and reenergize. In the morning, we explored the local neighborhood on foot, then in the afternoon drove north toward the Dolomite Mountains and did a little sketching.

10" x 7", ink & watercolor in a Stillman & Birn Beta series sketchbook. The top sketch was drawn and painted on location. The grape vines were drawn from photo references. I used a Noodler's Creaper Flex pen with Lexington Gray ink.
In the evening, we popped open the bottle of wine we had bought at the winery the day before.

10" x 7", ink & watercolor in a Stillman & Birn Beta series sketchbook. To make my wine sketch more interesting, I included the mosaic tile backsplash of the kitchen in the house where we were staying, fitting it in between the sections of text.

It was wonderful to spend a vacation day just meandering - seeing the real Italy, driving the back roads, exploring the countryside and tiny villages where nobody speaks English. It's the vacation I'd always dreamed of.

I didn't see Florence, Rome, or Madrid on this trip - I'm saving them for another time - but I got a taste of what makes Italy so special: friendly people, beautiful scenery, and art everywhere you look, from the grandest cathedral to the flowers on a windowsill. I can't wait to return!

Coming up next: We visit the lovely city of Vicenza


  1. Oh, the joy and perils of GPS! I love your little inserted picture of the you driving into the unknown. I suppose it's just my odd sense of humor, but I think there should be a screen notation when you go off the map like that (as there was on the old sea captains charts) 'beyond here be dragons' ...although, I doubt not that you need added stress in those moments.

    1. Love your comment about 'beyond here be dragons' - so funny!


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