Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sketchcrawling in Europe.

I'm terrible about taking pictures, so here are some sketches instead:

**Disclaimer: It looks like the colors aren't really showing up. I once inadvertently dabbed Clinique Moisture Surge Extra on the paintbrush, and the colors haven't been the same ever since. I guess thirsty skin relief isn't much for watercolors.

This lamp post is from a traffic circle in Berlin that I chanced upon after leaving an antique market en route to the Bauhaus Museum. There's a big statue there, famously captured in the Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire, but what captivated me were the lamp posts encircling the monument. I have this obsession with lamposts and gaslights. I noticed them in everywhere I traveled, and my intention was to sketch one in each city had I the time and the patience. Unfortunately, I lacked both.

The view of old town Prague from the Charles Bridge. After going on a walking tour, I wandered across the Charles Bridge and decided to sit out and sketch while the sun was still out. The castle and cathedral are in the distance.

This is the chandelier from the opera house in Prague. I got to see Verdi's Rigoletto at the decadent Prague Opera House. The story of a fool (court jester) seeking fatherly vengeance based on a story by Mr. Les Miserables himself. Crime and punishment themes - classic Victor Hugo. I always imagined operas to be stuffy and boring affairs, but I absolutely loved it. We showed up in jeans and sneakers for lack of decent attire, and it was funny how apparent the distinction between native and tourist was. I quickly scribbled this during intermission.

The Széchenyi Chain Bridge on the Danube River that links Buda (old town) and Pest (new town). This is probably the most beautiful bridge I saw during my travels. I walked over this at night and sketched the lit bridge from the other side, in front of the Four Seasons.

The port in Barcelona. People have been asking me which place was my favorite, and I'm at a loss for how to respond. I loved them all. But as if you were to ask me which country, I'd say Spain in a heartbeat. The culture, the ability to communicate (thanks to high school Spanish).. But I think weather had a lot to do with it. They say that Barcelona is like the California of Europe, so after backpacking through the freezing Eastern parts of Europe, I was thrilled to be able to wear t-shirts and Havaianas again. I spent a day wandering the streets of Barcelona, and lounged by the beach. The port was reminiscent of Marina del Rey or Newport - hoooooome.

The flower mart in Nice. Nice is nice. Har har har. So lame, I know, but I just had to say that. The entire French Riviera, actually, is breathtaking. What struck me first were the colors - a vivid palette of the brightest paints. And this outdoor flower market in Vieux Nice captured my fancy. If I lived there, I think I would buy freshly cut flowers every day.

And so ends my sketchcrawling. I tried to draw something in each city, but by the time I reached Paris, I was freezing and simply couldn't bear to sit outdoors in the thirty or forty degree weather. Now back to reality. Au revoir Europa!