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!


tealeaf said...

i love the sketches. and i love europe! keep at it.

Jen L said...

Wonderful sketches! Really calls attention to the details in Europe.

Michael J said...

Erika your sketches are so beautiful. I never knew that you can sketch so well. Maybe you should sketch something on my graffiti wall. =)

Dark but lovely said...

I am responding to your xanga comment, hehe. I love love your sketches. I actually know a person at Google who wants to write a children's book.. and needs an artist! Once I get back from IHOP we should all have lunch and talk. :)

Merry Christmas, chica!

Victor said...

Nice pictures and interesting story. Most of all in Europe I like Prague. It is a tourists’ paradise offering all a tourist could hope for. From secret corners and romantic places overlooking the historically valuable city centre, which is protected by UNESCO, to opportunities of wild parties until early hours, Prague has it all. The architecture of Prague property includes Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque as well as classical buildings and Art Nouveau. You can satisfy your curiosity in historical places, museums and galleries, every day you can choose from an array of music events, ranging from classical music to the latest pop music. Since The Velvet Revolution of 1989 Prague has become more visited.

Gina said...

Prague is affectionately known as the Pearl of Europe for it's beauty.The Czech name is Praha and since the fall of the Iron curtain the city is invaded by thousands of tourists. I am sure like myself they will not leave disappointed.
It is a mix of old and new and the two work well together.We booked a room in one of the Prague hotels right in the center of the Old Town - wanting to be close to everything.In my opinion if you are traveling to Prague for the first time try and go in December when there are the Christmas markets. You might be lucky enough to have snow like we did. I have just returned from my third visit and can't wait to go back

靖雯 said...

i've been admiring ppl that can sketch along the road on their trip so fast,yet so beautiful.i alwas wanted a trip like this,i wish i would go working holiday one day,on my own. bringing pens n watercolours along,aww life's good! hello there,im vinn from malaysia.

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