Every year for the past decade I’ve had at least one big sketching trip – based around either the Urban Sketchers Symposium and/or the Palladian Odyssey Tours. These trips are always very important in terms of the development of my art and I’ve been a little worried that with all the teaching I’m doing this year, I haven’t allowed for any time for my own art. So I have decided to go on my trip as planned this year… but virtually of course! And so today I packed my art supplies (in my Walkit bag), cleaned and topped up my palette and started my sketchbook.
For the next 11.5 weeks I am going to be spending an hour or so every day (ie. Monday to Saturday) going through my itinerary as planned and filling a number of travel sketchbooks. I’ll be using the Hahnemuehle Watercolour book (A4 landscape) for this trip and guess that I’ll fill about 4-5 of them.
The only change to my itinerary will occur during my last two weeks in Italy. Mike Botton and I were due to do some planning for another Palladian Odyssey Tour but I want to keep that for the future. So instead I’ll just revisit some well known cities – Venice, Bologna, Florence and have a few more days in Rome. I had a feeling in late February that my trip could be cancelled and so I hadn’t fully planned the second half of my trip (Luxembourg, Belgium and Netherlands). I’ll firm up my virtual destinations in the next few weeks. Here is a very rough map of my itinerary.
Wherever possible I will be reaching out to friends who I would have met up with on my travels and I’ll be getting suggestions on places to visit (for sketching and food!) Of course all the sketching will be done from photos – so this is a virtual sketching project and not at all urban sketching.
I’ll be sharing my adventures here, but also videos of my plans and sketches in my Instagram stories.
I know that it is a big undertaking with all my other work, but I’m super excited about it. Especially as it gives me a chance to do some more experimental things with my work based on my favourite subjects (scenes and architecture of Italy!)
Of course I’m fully aware of the terrible outcomes of the pandemic and Italy has been in my thoughts a lot over the past months being one of the first countries hit by it. My hope is that my virtual trip will give us all a little relief and distraction from the reality around us.
Stay tuned for Day 1 on Monday when I’ll be virtually flying to Rome.