Venice Italy – Verticals Vs Horizontals

canvas print, Home Decor, Italia, italian, Italy, Painting, Venezia, Venice, wall art, Watercolor
Italian Sketches Italy artworks
Visiting Venice on my business trip last month, I was astounded by all the vertical lines that strike the artist’s eye: tall buildings, narrow streets, long endless canals…

In my painting, San Marcos Square, I wanted to “lock” vertical tower into a horizontal frame of Doge Palazzo arches to show the controversial view point: 

On another hand, in my digital art photography, I pointed at all the verticals of tall going-into-the-sky buildings that surround peaceful canals. The buildings are like jeweled frames where canals represent emerald, turquoise, or sapphire stones. And the color of that “stones” depend on the weather and can change any second.

Each artwork contains the ancient sights with the curious tourists riding in gondolas, exploring the beauty of Venice:

Cheers from
🙂
  

Florence Watercolor Sketches – Such Young Such Different City

artwork, Basilica, Firenze, Florence, Gardens, Irina Sztukowski, Italia, italian, Italy, Painting, San Lorenzo, sketch, Travel, Watercolor
Italian city travel City
Visiting Florence for almost a week I had an opportunity painting there, learning its history, feeling its character; which allowed me to make a certain conclusion. 
Florence is actually a young city as Italians would say. Even though the beginning of the town goes back to medieval times, majority of the city was build in 18th Century.
Florence is so different to my artist’s eye. One moment I was passing by all “framed in stone” buildings on the streets with not a hint of any greenery; and all of a sudden, I was in a gorgeous park without visible end with wild paths and fruit trees.

Above sketch was made in Boboli Gardens next to Pitti Palace. I loved painting the Fountain Island full of flowers and pots with lemon trees while hiding myself somewhere in the bushes of the huge trimmed hedge:


The other day I was stunned by the beauty of an ancient Basilica San Lorenzo. There were so many people around that it was hard to find a place to sit and look up at the gorgeous dome; but, I managed it:

The day was hot and the clouds just started forming. I wanted to show this monumental beauty, with its beige and brown of a solid stone cathedral against a gorgeous sunny sky:
Italy watercolor artwork sketch
In these two watercolors I pointed the difference between young greens of Boboli Gardens with their fruits and flowers of a new season in comparison with old gorgeous man made monolith that lasts centuries. 

Cheers from
🙂

Amalfi Coast Italy – Mediterranean Seascape

Amalfi Coast, Anacapri, Capri, Costiana Amalfiana, Italy, Positano, realism in watercolor, sketches, sketches of Italy, Sorrento, watercolor paintings of Italy
realism in watercolor

Remembering one great trip to Italy a few years ago, I painted this summer seascape; and, I felt as if I returned to visit Sorrento and Amalfi Coast all over again.

The beauty of the coast is undesirable. What strikes me there it’s the diversity of that 50-kilometers (almost 30 miles) of Amalfi coastline. The natural beauty of cliffs and grottoes compete with the beauty of man-made kind: gorgeous churches, rustic towns, lemon orchards. No wonder it is the point of destination for so many tourists. When we drove the coastal road, we had chance to visit Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. 

In my art collection (e.g. Italy Gallery)  I have a few sketches of Amalfi Coast and its surroundings.

A view of volcano Vesuvius from Sorrento shore:

watercolor sketches of Italy
A little pass from the hotel to a rocky beach:

Watercolor sketches of Italy
A lovely cafe on the top of the cliff:

watercolor sketches of Italy
Impressionistic sunset above the Mediterranean Sea:

watercolor sketch of Italy
Rocky road alone the shore in the evening:

watercolor sketch of Italy
And, Streets Of Sorrento:

Italy

I yet had chance to paint Ravello or Amalfi towns, but there is Positano famous town here in my Italian collection of watercolors:

realism in watercolor

I love how the buildings are melting together with the mountains and flowers here.

Amalfi coast is beautiful. The Nature melts with man-made beauty so well. Though, I definitely loved Italian cities such Pisa, Rome, Venice, and Sienna for its monumental beauty:

realism in watercolor
realism in watercolor


My trip to Italy continues now on paper, and my vehicle in this case is painting tubes and brushes 🙂 


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Sketching Italy – Part III

Amalfi, coast, Colosseum, Forum, Irina, Italia, Italy, paintings, Positano, Ravello, Rome, ruins, sketches, sketching, Sorrento, Sztukowski, Vatican, Vesuvius, Watercolor
Part I is HERE
Part II is HERE
Although Rome looked so much as Saint Petersburg (Russia) to me as there are so many buildings in Saint Petersburg that were built by Italian architects back in 18th century; Rome, has its own, one of a kind, feeling when you come face-to-face to the older than old ruins

First thing in Rome, we’ve visited Colosseum:
ancient building

and next, the Forum ruins next to Colosseum. They surely remind people about thousand-years history and once powerful empire:
Roman old
Being in Rome only for two days was pretty intense as we had big plans. One of the days was devoted to a holy place, a country in the country, the incredible Vatican

As you see, no time to paint at all, but I painted Vatican‘s St. Peter’s Basilica a few years ago, and now it comes handy: 
Holy City
Most impressive for me in Vatican was the Papal residence, with paintings (fresco) from floor to ceiling, gorgeous statues, and mosaic floors. Sistine Chapel was impressive, but tourists there are not allowed to talk or take photos.. you can only breath in.. 

Leaving Rome after two busy days was like escaping ancient civilization, when we started heading South. Our point of view shifted to the one of the popular leisure places, Amalfi Coast… 

Passing Naples and Pompeii, we landed in a beautiful town Sorrento, with its view on volcano Vesuvius:

Naples view

cafe
Three Story high cliffs with the hotels on a top and a private rocky beach below: 
umbrellas
It was so relaxing that we had time to just rest and watch beautiful sunsets and the boats parked at the shore:
Mediterranean sea

italian landscape
After traveling along the coast and visiting very beautiful towns Ravello, Positano, and Amalfi (I can’t wait to work on my photos and start painting them in my studio); it was nice to relax the last 24 hours in downtown Sorrento with its lovely narrow streets full of souvenir shops, restaurants, and flowers everywhere: 

building flowers
Italy trip was fantastic! Unforgettable and inspiring for a lot future painting to be created…


In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul


Sketching Italy – Part II

best sketches, city, Florence, Italy, sketches, Sztukowski, tourism, Travel, travel sketches. travel the world, Tuscany, watercolor sketches, watercolors
For those who missed the first post, Part I is HERE
Leaving Venice was sad but I knew that Florence will not disappoint my artist’s eye. 

And the first thing I’ve run into was an art fair next to San Lorenzo cathedral, where artists were selling their beautiful art:
art fair in Florence
Florence in comparison to Venice is much larger and the colors of Florence are more solid and settled vs vibrant colors of Venetian buildings. 

Lots of towers in Florence are made of sand-color stones, reveling the age in the texture: 
streets of Florence
Hundreds of tourists occupied the plaza next to Palazzo Vecchio, a truly old, magnificent building. Each statue on the Piazza told a story, mythical or historical. 

plaza statues
Far in the distance, Neptune is overseeing the crowd. 
David (a copy of the original that we saw in Accademia ), is guarding the entry to Palazzo Vecchio:
nude statue
Besides the fact that Florence streets, statues, and fountains are like a museum under an open sky, there is also a largest collection of Renaissance art in Uffizi Gallery that I had chance to visit. Unfortunately, in most museums they don’t allow photo cameras; and, I could imagine, they wouldn’t permit a watercolorist sitting and painting there.. But the memory of a beautiful art will stay with me forever. 

One of the five days in Florence, we escaped the city going on 12 hour tour to Tuscany, where we had chance to visit Pisa, Siena, a thousand year old San Gimignano. On the way there, we admired Italian wineries of Tuscany and multiple Sunflowers fields:
Italy
On our last day in Florence we crossed the famous bridge Ponte Vecchio and stepped into the beauty of Palazzo Pitti  with its fountains and terraces.
Quiet walk at Boboli Gardens impressed with hidden paths,  peaceful ponds, and moss-green marble statutes:  
Boboli Gardens
The Florentine time was up and we headed out to the train station. Less than a two-hour train ride from Florence to Rome was lovely. We were passing by farms, mountains, old towns: colorful Italian landscapes: 
Italian landscape
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In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Sketching Italy – Part I

buildings, city, history, hotel, Italia, italian, Italy, map, realism, sketch, sketches, Sztukowski, tourism, tourists, town, trip, Venice, voyage
After a long long flight, having a refreshing ride in a water taxi, my husband and I landed in the comfortable room of one Venetian hotel:
interior
The couple of sketches I made there were at the time when, after running around the town overwhelmed with heat and the history, we had a chance to cool down for a few minutes and rest:
lamp window door table mirror
Beautiful canals with waters from turquoise blue to milky emerald, flowers on the windows, and polls in the water attracted my attention the first day of our city discovery: 
cityscape
Two gondoliers were resting before the next ride. No rush, no hurry, they knew the next group of tourists is inevitably coming:
Italy sketch bridge
After walking through narrow streets where the Sun never hits the ground, it was nice to find a relatively large square surrounded with two canals and an army of buildings:
monument buildings Italy
But not only the canals that historical part of  Venice is made of. One of the main artery of the touristic mecca was Via Nuova, wide enough to fit even a car or two passing by, and with its colorful old buildings and shops, shops, shops:
Venice Italy trip
After three wonderful days in Venice, visiting museums such Palazzo Ducale, Biblioteca Nazionale, Modern and Ancient Art exhibitions at San Marco Piazza, Accademia and many gorgeous churches and cathedrals, we had to prepare to leave for a new endeavors that were planned on our Italy tour. 
Sitting in the lobby of the hotel Europa & Regina and waiting for the water ride to the train station, I had a few minutes to sketch my last Venetian interior:
Armchair Table Room

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In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Italian Restauran – Sunflowers Of Venice

cafe, Cityscape, Irina, Italia, italian, Italy, landscape, Positano, Rome, Siena, Still Life, sunflowers, Sztukowski, Vatican, Venice, Watercolor
Italy Still Life
Preparing for the trip to Italy, I am getting my “Italian” brush strokes sharpen.. In this painting I literally re-painted the walls with the dry brush loaded with color not worrying about the brush marks; after all, the walls in that Venetian cafe were old… 
I’ve got the photo reference from my friend who went to Italy a couple of years ago. They were sitting in the cafe and waiting for the meal to come. The guy was wearing red t-shirt and was looking at the vase above his head. I made a few changes; and, even though I left the pitcher with flowers above and “almost” falling, I replaced the guy with the Red Venetian Chair to add a little less personal look to the painting but remain an Italian feeling to the atmosphere…

Now I don’t know what is the focal point in this painting: the red chair, the blue bottle, or these cute Sunflowers:
Yellow Still Life
Oh Italy, I am excited to go there. So far I was just painting from the photo’s of my friends and relatives. And now it is the time to meet this country in person.

Here are my previous paintings.

Beautiful hills of Positano:
Flowers at the Bay
SOLD
(prints are available HERE)
Gorgeous Dome in Vatican Rome:
St Peters basilica
SOLD
(prints are available HERE)
And multiple roofs of old town Siena:
roofs
SOLD
(prints are available HERE)
In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Mama Mia! So Many Roofs! Siena, Italy

Church, city, Cityscape, Europe, italian, Italy, italy painting, Italy trip, Ochre, paintng Italia, realism in watercolor, Siena, Sienna, Sztukowski, Travel, trip to italy, Uncategorized, watercolour

The history of this painting goes back to the last year when I was preparing for the Sketchbook Project – Travel With Me. The sketch will soon end up in NY Library after it travels in the different countries. 
When I was painting a larger format it took quite a while even the overall tone of the painting is pretty much the same and contains primarily Ochre and Burnt Sienna (Note the town that is painted is called Siena). I couldn’t understand what took so long to paint; and at the end I finally got it. The painting contains 17 roofs (big and small, close and far)! I guess, it does take time not only to build the roof, but as well to painted it. :0) 
To make the painting more “alive” I’ve added birds, some flowers on the back, geranium on the window sand hanging outside laundry. I thought this will give nice people presence in this old rustic town.
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23″x17″ Watercolor Painting on 140lb Cold Pressed Paper
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Vatican City – Travel With Me – Sketchbook Project

art that sells, bestseller, Italy, Italy in watercolors, Michelangelo, Rafael, Sztukowski, Travel, Uncategorized, Vatican, Watercolor

During my visit to Italy I cannot miss the State of Vatican City, the smallest independent state in the world, which has a whole complex of different museums. My main goal is to observe the old frescoes in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s Rooms. I just want to see with my own eyes these 16th century masterpieces.
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4″ x 6″ Watercolor Sketch on 90lb Cold Pressed Paper
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Siena, Italy – Travel With Me – Sketchbook Project

artwork, bestseller, Italy, paintings, Positano, Siena, Sketchbook, Sztukowski, Travel, Uncategorized, Watercolor

Italia! Italia! I always wanted to go there. And my desire doubled if not tripled when last Summer I started learning about Medieval and Renaissance art in my Art History class. Italy became the center of art and culture many centuries ago. Artists from different countries went to learn art in Italy from old masters. Throughout the times the history was well preserved there. And I believe that unlike some of other European cities Italian ones keep their charm and remain untouched by civilization with its concrete-glass-high scrapers; or, at least I want to believe. I’ve also heard that Italian people are very nice. My friend lived in Italy for several years and when she came to Russia she said that the character of Russian people, their charisma reminded her Italian character a lot.
When I am in Italy, my first destination will be most likely Florence, Rome, and Venice. But if time and money permits I would love to visit Siena (you see on the sketch and will understand me why) and Positano. And wherever I go I want to paint, take tons of pictures, visit museums and churches and of course to see the original art in person. My sister and I even started learn Italian together. She is more advanced in this language than I am; yet I’ve recently learned one but very good phrase: Anno nuovo vita nuova! (which means New Year New Life!) There is something in this sentence very inspiring and promising, isn’t it!? 🙂
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4″x6″ Watercolor Sketch on 90lb Cold Pressed Paper

In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul