Monday, September 10, 2007

Sargent and Venice


Pen & Watercolour Pencil large Moleskine sketchbook

I've just had a couple of magical days in Venice wining and dining with Margaret and David and enjoying a feast of art. I couldn't believe my luck when I discovered the Sargent and Venice exhibition had been extended into September. A couple of hours with John Singer Sargent's inspiring watercolours was such an education. The next day, looking for a quiet spot to sketch I stumbled upon an Albrecht Durer print exhibition which was a rare treat too. I desperately wanted to sketch the cloister at the Museo Diocesano which was the venue for Durer but I had a train to catch and they don't allow photographs. Finally an exhibition Artempo: Where Time Becomes Art at the Palazzo Fortuny was an the opportunity to see the amazing Veiled Lady 'Purity' by Antonio Corradini.

And sketching in Venice? Not very productive I'm afraid. I should have heeded Katherine's advice on sketching en plein air and realised that the friendly early morning sunlight was going to turn into a blazing torch before I'd finished my drawing. I had to complete it at home.

I 'd carted watercolours and paper along with my pencils and pens in my sketching stool/bag on my back, but such were the crowds and other temptations I didn't get to use them. I did manage some photographic references that I hope to make into paintings in the next couple of weeks.


Venice is even more special now I see her through the eyes of Sargent, Turner and Whistler and the thousands upon thousands of dreamers like myself who stand clutching a sketchbook, awestruck by her beauty.

15 comments:

Katherine said...

Robyn - what a simply splendid sketch. The important thing with Venice is to develop an eye for it. I found I couldn't get a lot done the first time I visited - it's just a visual feast. Once you get used to it, it gets easier - and I found that looking at it through the eyes o other artists made it easier still

I have only a few words to say about you seeing THAT exhibition - and they are jealous, jealous, jealous!!!

Bonny said...

This is a fabulous drawing, Robyn! I found I couldn't settle down to draw in Venice either. Partly because we had only had 1 day on our last visit. There are also a lot of distractions! I contented myself with lots of photos and buying some art supplies!

Lin said...

FANTASTIC SKETCH, ROBYN!!! OH I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE MORE! And what an opportunity to see TWO grand exhibitions!!! And the trip, the views, the food, the friends ... AHHHH ... what a wonderful trip!!

Joan said...

Robyn, I'm glad you had such a nice time in Venice. It's hard to see everything and get some sketching done too. That's why I didn't get inside any of the buildings or museums when I was there. I need to go back. Very nice job on the bridge over the canal.

Anita said...

Wonderful sketch Robyn, great perspective and a really inviting composition.

Dave said...

Sounds like a lovely trip. Wonderful sketch, too.

brian nelson said...

I am glad that you made it back to Venice! What a magical place! Always something to see and explore with all of your senses! The exhibits sound wonderful. I like your sketch!

Liz P said...

Robyn, your story is familiar. I have toted my drawing supplies with me to some beautiful places... and then toted them back home, untouched. Don't you think we need to be in a place for an extended period to become relaxed enough to paint and draw our impressions well?

The exhibits you saw sound wonderful, the sketch you did of the bridge is lovely, and you know your photos and memories will inspire you later!

mARTa said...

ah, Venezia.....I only spent a few very hot humid hours there last summer but I must return someday. YOur sketch is wonderful as always! I enjoyed Katherine's article as well. I can't wait to meet up with you in Frienze for some sketching and fun!

Karen Cole said...

How wonderful to open your blog and find your beautiful watercolor of Venice! I will be there at this time next week. I admire your courage to sketch and paint in Venice. I found there to be way too much stimulation all around me last time.

Where is the Sargent exhibit? I've been searching.

Any good "local" restaurant recommendations?

Can't wait to see more of your Venice work.

Robyn said...

Katherine - Thank you :) Would have been wonderful to visit that exhibition with you, after all it was through your blog that I developed my fascination for JSS.

Bonny & Liz - Thank you. I'm glad I'm not the only one who choked on the opportunity. We all need more time in Venice.

Lin - Your passion for doors spurred me on. ;)

Joan, Anita & Dave - Many thanks.

Brian - I had no idea I was going to get to Venice so soon after I posted my comment on your blog.

Marta - Florence will be fun. :)

Karen - How exciting! The JSS exhibition is at the Museo Correr on the Piazza S. Marco. It at the opposite end of the Piazza to Basilica San Marco. Best restaurant this trip was AGLI ALBORETTI just over the Accademia Bridge.

Africantapestry said...

I have such wonderful memories of Venice and seeing your sketch and picture brings it all back. I couldn't sketch there durign the day...there were just too many poeple and the buzz too restless, so I agree early mornings is the only good opportunity!
Ronell

juj said...

Oh Robyn - I'm so envoius! Your trip sounds amazing and your sketch is just beautiful.

juj said...

Oh! I almost forgot - and your PHOTO - that photo is stunning!

Robyn said...

Judi - Thank you. I was really happy that I caught that playful little wave. It's these innocent looking little waves that are tragically destroying Venice.

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