Narni, Wednesday, September 19
Yesterday was a low key day. After our long day getting to, being in, and returning from Orvieto on Monday, we all needed to put our feet up and really relax as opposed to seeing-the-sights relaxing.
Claire and I decided that it would be fun to head down to Piazza Garibaldi with all our painterly accoutrements and “do some sketching.” Claire even suggested trying some plein air painting but I need lots more equipment (like a teeny tiny palette and a water brush) plus even more talent before I can commit to that kind of exposure . . . it’s bad enough sitting in public slowly burying oneself under a mountain of eraser crumbs.
It turns out that it was fun. The Cafè Il Centro Italia hosted us for an hour or so and we both came away with sketches that were pretty good. I went for a street scene that involved too many lanes intersecting at too many weird angles with too many arches with awnings poking out at inconvenient places but I was able to eliminate some of the clutter (if you want accuracy, take a photo) and came home with a sketch that is evocative, if not absolutely representational, of what I was seeing. Admittedly, one of the awnings looks as if a flock of grossly overweight pigeons roosted on one side of it during the night but who’s to say it didn’t. In spite of the fact that the walls, awnings and streets are all shades of grey, I am going to paint it and I’m certain that I will take as many liberties with the colors as I did with the sketch.
The only disappointment I have with my sketch is that I haven’t incorporated any people into it. Although I did finally find out about “carrot people” during our watercolor class, to say nothing of “u and w people” and “stick and sausage people,” I don’t think I am ready to attempt a figure yet. I did put some intimations of figures in one painting but that was using the “there’s a party going on” technique and, therefore, doesn’t really count. And, speaking of stick and sausage people, why not just call them “corn dog people”?
The point of this post is to show that even after five days I have managed to retain some small portion of what I learned last week and that my enthusiasm is undiminished.