Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Italy Adventure, Umbria, Italy 2010

This journal is one of my favorites so far. The dimensions are 5 3/4 x 7 3/4.  It nestles into one's hand very comfortably and fits into a backpack or tote bag very easily.  The pages are of 140 lb Fabriano soft press watercolor paper. Soft press has a texture between hot and cold press with a bit of a linen finish to it.  Soft press absorbs watercolor fairly quickly which I like when I'm moving around from one location to another and don't have a lot of time to wait for the watercolor to dry.
The journal is sewn with exposed double raised cords and kettle stitches at each end. An extra strip of thin bookboard is glued to the spine edge of the front and back covers as a grip which makes the journal easier to grab when removing and placing into whatever I am carrying it in.

There are pocket pages sewn in between the watercolor paper sections for miscellaneous items.
This is my first sketch in this journal. I was sitting in the cafe at the Museum of Modern Art at the Borghessi in Rome were there was a relief of a lion on a wall. On the left are stamps purchased at the Vatican post office.
Here are two of the pockets mentioned above. Great place for small maps and clippings from tourist information brochures.
This is the page following the pockets in the above photo.  Ken O'Connell, our tour shepherd and workshop leader, was big on visiting post offices in various towns and buying stamps for his and our journals.  Here I tried to recreate the colors of the stamps in swatches of watercolor.

 More stamps and brochure clippings intermixed with watercolors. A map of the area visited is "tipped in" with a thin line of glue into the page crease.

A word to the wise....wear good shoes or you will wind up here. I paid two visits to emergency rooms, one in Rome and one in Terni. Not a fun way to spend your vacation time! I thank Edmond, manager of La Romita School of Art, for his kind patience in transporting me to the one in Terni.
On the left is a piece of the pharmacy bag from my pain relief  prescription. On the right is my sketch of a scene of San Gemini the first small town on our tour.

The nice thing about looking at vacation photos or videos is that you don't have to undergo the weather issues of the actual place....of heat, humidity or the relentless little flying creatures that you have to keep waving off as you try to draw. Here I am sketching Phil as he is lost in his own work.

...the end for now.... 


  1. ahh. I love Italy! wonderful journal pages

  2. Well written post on Italy! It sounds like you are aware lesser known place, history and events happening in Italy very much. I want to go on italian vacations . Any suggestions and recommendation for me??