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Monday, October 15, 2018

Sketchbook Tour of Tuscany

I arrived in Florence four days before my workshop. I used the time to get over jet lag, explore, sketch, sightsee and shop. My favorite way to discover a city is on foot....walking. I like to sketch, sit in cafe with a cappuccino, shop in enjoy gelato. It's easy for me to walk all day and not feel tired. I'm often surprised to see how far I've walked by the end of the day. Six to eight miles is the average.  I enjoy finding unexpected views when I wander.  I want to FEEL the smell, hear, see and absorb everything. 

I left my sketchbag in the hotel room to travel lighter. It's easy to tuck in small spaces and go unnoticed when only sketching with a pen and the sketchbook. Florence was surprisingly hot and humid. The idea of sketching inside a church or museum was appealing.  Especially during the hottest time of the day. Inside was cool with lots of places to sit.
The amazing French Escapade 
Guides and Owners
Three days later I met up with the people in my first workshop and my tour guides. The workshop was hosted by French Escapade. We traveled by van to our home location. We drove in a long road with the vineyard on one side and an olive grove on the other. The air was filled with fresh smells and it was beautiful! Gone was the hustle and bustle of the city.
We sketched hill towns, small villages,  Tuscan countryside and historic cities. Each day was rich with history, beauty and culture. The evenings were filled with good food, lively conversations, shared stories and lots of laughter. It was fun to watch friendships develop.  I had an interesting mix of women from different countries: Norway, England, Australia, Guatemala, Canada and the US.

To see my finished sketches and hear my thoughts behind the images click on the video here.

There's nothing like an extended time to focus on nothing but creativity! No house cleaning, grocery shopping, appointments, yard work, bills to pay, errands or cooking. When my only concern is sketching and teaching my mind is free to reach deeper areas of creativity.

The first time I visited Italy I didn't sketch at all. I know that's hard to believe! But that was many years ago. I was traveling with 5 family members. No matter how well intending people are, it's no fun to sketch when people are waiting for you to get done. Since that first trip I have taught eight workshops in Tuscany, three in France, one in Spain and next year Belgium. Not bad for bad for a small-town girl!

Next year I have workshops all across the US and two in Belgium. To see my schedule and workshop locations please visit: Workshops 2019

Happy Sketching! Brenda


  1. Great post. Loved your sketchbook tour video of your Tuscany trip. Both sketchbooks look fabulous

    1. Mary,
      Thank you for the nice comment...Happy Sketching!

  2. I loved having a tour of your sketchbooks and listening to your narrative. Beautiful sketches of what looked like a wonderful workshop!

  3. Your Tuscan sketchbook was beautiful and I loved the placemat painting! I managed to bring a few home from a little restaurant in Florence too!

    1. Thank you! Wish I tucked a few placemats in my suitcase...loved the raw siena tone!

  4. wow, what a beautiful sketchbook you created. Would love to visit that area some day. I enjoyed your post.