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Michael Sloan
My Venice Sketchbook
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I've just returned from five days in Venice, Italy with two of my children. Here are some sketches from our trip:
We rented a room on a long wharf called the Zattere which overlooks the Giudecca canal. Outside our front door was a constant procession of boat traffic ranging from one-man dinghys to towering cruise ships that resembled skyscrapers floating on their sides.
 
Although we were on the edge of the high-traffic tourist zone our room was secluded and peaceful. I was never at a loss for something to sketch just outside our front door.
 
Here's the view from our apartment window.
 
Below are two views from our front door:


On our first evening we discovered the view from the Salute at the entrance to the Grand Canal and across from Piazza San Marco. We returned to this place often as it was ten minutes walk from our room and had sweeping views from the Grand Canal to the harbor:
View from the Salute at twilight. Below is a view from the same spot early in the morning.


I love the sound of the churchbells in Venice, especially when many bells ring at the same time, some nearby, others far away and echoing across the city, each with their own unique tone.
 
Around the corner from our room was a church with bells that had a particularly beautiful sound. We had to investigate. I found a secluded alleyway with a nice view from which to paint the church as my children played hide and seek:
The next morning we returned to the Salute where I experienced a golden moment: we all took out our sketchbooks and watercolors and painted the same view across the Grand Canal in our own way. We were thoroughly engrossed in the joy of the moment, and in our paintings:
The three of us painting. Below: my children's paintings.


On our last day we visit the Lido beach where we watch some locals play a passionate game of volleyball:

Another view along the Zattere near our front door. I never get tired of drawing boats.

The days passed quickly, and our many visits to our favorite gelato stand blurred together. Suddenly it was our last evening in Venice.

 
 
Thanks to my children for being such great travel companions! I'm so happy that we have shared this wonderful time together.


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