Brazil Trip: Quiet Days in Rio

September 26, 2014 | 4 Comments

Immediately after the workshop with the architecture students described in the previous post I headed for my hotel… and ended up spending a lot of ‘quality time’ there for the rest of my stay in Rio due to a very nasty cold /virus.

The other three hotels I had stayed at this trip all had either good views, very pleasant common areas or very accessible and sketchable immediate surroundings. This hotel was a lot more limited – it was a great hotel but the room was a shoe box and there was only a little forecourt area outside where I could go for a little ‘fresh’ air when my room was being serviced…but still there is always plenty to sketch!

So here are the sketches I did during the 3 days when I was very wiped out. I still pushed myself just a little to sketch as a way of achieving something and recording my adventures.

Meanwhile the gang continued to have fun sketching adventures (I would get the full report at the end of the day) and each day have a different local USKer acted as tour guide (what a priviledge hey?)

But we also started having to say goodbye to others. Need I say it was really special to be able to hang out with this group a lot this trip.

Being content in what ever situation I am placed is something I strive after constantly (a major theme in the Bible!) and despite wanting to see more of Rio – my overwhelming thought was thankfulness.

There are many reasons why I am thankful everyday of my life…but here are a few specifically related to being stuck in a hotel in Rio.

In all my extensive travels over the last 10 years I have never once been laid low like this (I often get sick on my return home!) so I was very thankful that I was ill at a time in my trip that I didn’t have to be anywhere or go anywhere.

I was thankful I was not alone and surrounded by friends that were so helpful getting me things when I needed it (getting the right medications was a little fun without any Portuguese but I did manage!)

My trips these days are more about the development of my art than they are about ticking off every tourist spot. I had a new good art book to read (when I felt up to it) and lots and lots of ideas to process. I also used this quiet time for adding notes on previous pages (doing my homework!).  So I was thankful for this quiet time and pause in my trip.

Another reason for thankfulness was that sketching gives me something to do even if I cant go sightseeing…when you are travelling everything seems worthy of sketching.

I quite like the variety to my sketchbook that these particular subjects make. A fire hydrant for Pete Scully…and the telephone booth outside the hotel – These booths with their distinctive hoods seem to have been sketched by a number of my fellow sketchers.

Not to mention the powerlines! (these are the somewhat tame ones once again outside the hotel)

On the third afternoon I ventured out for last meal with Esther – a hearty late lunch – and then had to say goodbye! (sad!) She was the last one of the gang to go – and I was left ‘alone’.
After a little rest I was feeling a little brighter and decided I would go out to the local square Largo Do Machado and see if I could do a sketch or two.

It was so good to be out sketching and surrounded by the locals… and on my own. I feel connected with the city when I do this – life is going on around me and I start absorbing it all (even without understanding a single word).. I was happy as this solo sketching made me feel I had experience local Rio.

For the first time in this trip I was feeling ‘alone in a foreign land’ and then I looked up …and what did I see? … Tina – a fellow USKer from Seattle sitting on the same fountain ledge sketching! Ha ha! not that surprising hey?

Getting out sketching again certainly got my creative juices pumping and so I did a few more…

There was a lot of lush vegetation everywhere in Brazil. I noticed that I had been using a lot of green on my pages but without making a trees or plants a subject in there own right (BTW most of my green is mixed…but I do have one pan of green for convenience and that was getting low)
So my third sketch was just of a tree in the corner of the square.


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