Suddenly after 5 decades of living I discovered art and I can't get enough of it. Lately when I travel, I have a sketchbook with me and I have been sketching. This is a huge thing for me. A rotten comment from an art teacher when I was 12 sealed my fate, I never touched art or did any drawing again, creative drawing I mean. I went on to do Chemistry, Physics, Math and Biology and of course I needed to draw during these classes. I never drew for fun till a year ago. I've been visiting the art museums in Europe to look but never personally touched a sketchbook or paintbrush again. Now I want to ditch my camera and bring, instead a sketchbook, paintbrushes and tubes of water colors. I want to sit, draw and paint. I was in Monreale, 8 km outside of Palermo, at the cloister of this magnificent cathedral in March this year. There was a group of architecture students from Notre Dam University there; they were sketching and painting the beautiful courtyard of the cloisters, it had a mudajer style of architecture, very common in Southern Spain because of the former Islamic influence. I envy these students; I met another group last year in Naples, Italy.. Italy is a great place to study architectural styles.
While waiting for the cathedral to re open after lunch, I sat outside and drew the outside of the cloister. I am so blessed to be able to see some of the most beautiful places in Europe. The mosaics inside the cathedral is so magnificent. There were bible scenes made from colorful mosaics all over the interior. It is an awe inspiring sight. The Sicilians tend to go wondrously overboard when decorating their churches. They cover every available space leaving no place untouched whether they be working with mosaics, marble inlay, baroque plasterwork.....anything. Some may think it is over the top but I don't. I love such exuberant displays, the more the better.
This note on art all started again after I received the most delightful book yesterday from Amazon.com. It is 'My Italian Sketchbook' by French artist, Florine Asch. It is the most delightful art book I've ever owned. As I flip through the pages, I was filled with much glee and joy. I want to do art. I want to emulate her style. I want to draw. I want to paint, even badly.