Venice Sketches, Sights & Sounds

Kim MinichielloWhen I travel I love to sketch in watercolor.  When I go to a new place I’m always torn, do I  explore more or take the time to sit down and do a sketch. My daughter with her dry sense of humor, coined a phrase, when I schlep all my sketching stuff around, all day to never sit down and do a sketch, says, “Well today it looks like you did more performance art than real art!”  Apropos for someone who actually is a performing artist and sometimes a smart @#%.  Sometimes you just feel more compelled to explore.

www.kimmininchielloBut there are the times when you purposefully set out to sketch or as you are exploring feel compelled to capture something.  I love the process so I like to take my time and not rush through the sketching experience.  I can take anywhere from one hour to two.  More than two hours is pushing it for me.

I can zone out and focus on what I’m doing, but I’m still able to enjoy the ambiance of my surroundings, especially sound.  I’m focused visually on what I’m sketching of course but the sounds are an extra bonus.  Sometimes not though, I’ve started sketching only  later after I’ve gotten started to be accompanied by tree trimming, mowing and leaf blowing! Not so much of this traveling though.

www.kimminichiello.comThe locations I recently sketched in Venice, I heard the water lapping in the canals, gondoliers, children playing in the squares, church bells, cafe noise, and a din of Italian being spoken.  All of this just enhances and makes sketching more enjoyable.

Then there are the smells, if you are sketching at or near cafes, it hard to stay focused if you are sketching before lunch!

www.kimminichiello.comAll the senses for me are engaged while sketching, sight, sounds and smells. When I get home and look back at my sketches I can recall all these experiences, something a photo can never do, because we take the photo and move on.  Sketching forces you to be present and experience our surroundings.

So here is a little sample of some sounds of Venice!

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Kim MinichielloLimited Edition Giclée Prints & Note Cards of my work available here.

Venice, a Recap

Kim Minichiello blog 1When things seem to fall into place so seamlessly, with no shenanigans so to speak, it was just meant to be.  That’s the way I feel about my recent trip to Italy with my WAM:Women Artists Mentors friends, Helen Beacham, Maria Bennett Hock, Debra Kierce and Carrie Waller.  Helen approached us last summer and said, “Why don’t I keep the apartment I’m renting an extra week after my students leave from my workshop and you all can join me in Venice!”  We couldn’t say yes fast enough.  Research was done and flights were booked.

Carrie traveled the furthest  from Tokyo, Debra and Maria were coming from Virginia and myself from Florida.  After we all booked our tickets, at the time we felt we would all get the best deal, we arrived in Venice within one hour of each other not really planning to, it just happened that way.   I was first and waited for Carrie, Maria and Debra. We took the Alilaguna, airport boat, and met Helen at the stop that was 5 minute walk from the apartment.

WAM Venice Group Shot for Publicity, more cropped FINALFrom left to right:  Carrie Waller, Helen Beacham, Maria Bennett Hock, me, and Debra Kierce

This was the first time everyone in the group was meeting in person!  Since we all meet on-line once a month it instantly felt like we had met before many times.  However, meeting on-line and traveling together are two different animals.  But since we all look out for each other supporting each other in our art careers and business, we did the same as traveling buddies.  Aside from  a couple of incidents with pigeon poop, on the same person, I’m not mentioning any names,  the trip was absolutely perfect.

Kim Minichiello Blog 4The thing that strikes me as being so wonderful about spending more than just a couple of days in Venice, is it’s so relaxing!  Granted it’s not a beach vacation, but the ambiance is so special with no cars, sirens, or motorbikes, only echoes of people bouncing off the buildings in the narrow alley ways, the occasional church bells, and the sounds of boats going about their way on the canals.  I think we may have been there before the tourist rush of summer, it didn’t feel too crowded. We had plenty of time to explore the 6 neighborhoods as well as Burano and Murano, as well as sketch, eat, (more than a few gelatos were consumed) and just spend quality time getting to know each other better.

We all took thousands of photos between the five of us and I can’t wait to see what we all are inspired by when we create some new work.

Kim Minichiello blog 3

My favorite Aperitivo, The Spritz

So Cin Cin to my fabulous five friends, here’s hoping we have many more adventures like this one!

On a side note, Debra put together a nice memento and some advise on starting your own mentoring group on Bored Panda, click here.

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Kim MinichielloLimited Edition Giclée Prints & Note Cards of my work available here.