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Italy Trip & Sketchbook!

Hi there! It’s been a while since I’ve made a post here, but I would like to utilize this blog more, especially as social media continues to be a weird, unpredictable place to share art!

This June, my parents invited Taylor and I to come along on a trip to Italy. I had never been outside of North America before, and seeing all of the renaissance architecture and art had been on my bucket list since I took art history in college. Post cancer & pandemic, I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like there’s no time like the present when it comes to crossing things off that ever growing list.

Before the trip, I envisioned spending every still moment drawing and painting, preferably plein-air masterpieces that would live in my handmade-specifically-for-the-trip-sketchbook. But between jet lag, walking miles every day to see the sights, and being with my parents and partner who don’t draw or paint, I didn’t have as much time as I thought I might to sit in plazas and paint beautiful marble churches.

Something I *did* have time for was the 4″x5″ pocket notebook that I picked up on impulse in the Vienna airport. The thin-papered gridded notebook lived alongside a Tombow Fundensuke brush pen in the little leather bag I picked up in a shop in Lucca. Those two simple tools served me well for quick observational sketches when I had a few minutes to sit in churches and museums, or when we were waiting for trains, rental cars, or food to arrive. You can see a few choice scans below!

This sketchbook practice birthed one of my major takeaways from the trip, I don’t need complicated tools or a lot of time to make sketches that inspire larger work, or even stand on their own. The drawings I made will forever remind me of the sounds, smells, and sights of Tuscany.

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