Tag Archives: Copic Multiliner


imageA huge day out this Palm Sunday.

In the morning we went to the Flea Market in Siracusa. Quite a long walk from our apartment. But an interesting flea market. I bought some bits…tiny things, and unusual. An old bottle, um, a key, um, an old tin, um, I forget. They are little things and they are in my suitcase. It was Palm Sunday and they were selling woven palm leaves in the piazza in front of the church. A long walk back. A bit of a concern because leaving early afternoon to go to beautiful Noto and tired already.

imageNoto is famous for its baroque architecture. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1693. It was completely rebuilt in the ‘Sicilian Baroque’ style. It is known as the stone garden and is a world heritage site.

The pattern seems to be set for this group, that rather than make art, we eat and take guided tours. Our first stop was at Caffe Sicilia for coffee and biscotti (well one or two had blood orange granita), then off to Palazzo Nicolai of the beautiful balconies.
image A tour had been arranged there with a local guide, but guess who skipped off after the first five minutes, didn’t see the palazzo, but sat outside in the sun sketching.

Mostly I am not able to leave the group, as it is not clear where we will meet afterwards. But on this occasion we had a long break between the tour and a dinner in a restaurant, so we were directed to a bar.

It was called Anche gli Angeli (also the angels). What a amazing place. It was a bookshop as well as a bar, and sold some gifts also. It was Big, but with low lighting and beautiful vaulted ceilings.Look here.

After that, off to dinner in a restaurant. Delicious food. My main course was squid in a soupy-thing…..I don’t know the correct word…..of peas. It was good though I did worry that it was sloppy and I would get it all over my Desigual scarf. This restaurant might have been where I had the semi-freddo with orange and lemon. It is all starting to become a blur and if I don’t write it down, I don’t remember. Sensational anyway. The semi-freddo was like a slice of Ice cream with a little sponge on the bottom.

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Filed under collage, Copic Multiliner, Italy, Sicily, Siracusa, sketchbook, sketching, Travel, watercolour


imageA morning out on a bus trip to Buscemi – ‘Paese Museo della Vita Popolare (Village Museum of Working Life’.)

A local guide accompanied us around the village while we visited a traditional wine press,  and houses of the wealthy farmer and the poorer day-labourers.


For such a small town, the church architecture was again, wonderful. Unfortunately, we were taken on a guided tour with no opportunity to stop and sketch. We ended up learning to make bread, and to make the bread ‘toys’ that would have traditionally have been made for the children, a doll, a rooster, and finally, an artichoke.


We were then given a delicious though simple(ish) lunch on a terrace in the sun. I used my new Hero pen from Hong Kong to sketch a well that was on the terrace. At present my ink is not waterproof (we will find an art shop sometime) so I used my waterbrushes to get the mid-tones.

imageBack in Siracusa, we sat at some tables of a closed restaurant to draw this beautiful old building beside the Duomo. While sketching we got colder and colder and found a bar where we could sit inside and have a glass of red wine to warm us.

Oh, that’s my artichoke!


Filed under collage, Copic Multiliner, Italy, Ortigia, pen, Sicily, Siracusa, sketchbook, sketching, Travel, watercolour

Piazza Archimede

imageOnce again I skipped printing and went sketching instead. This time we went to Piazza Archimede, one of the main piazzas in Ortigia. We got a coffee and biscotti, and then decided to sketch our biscotti, so we had to get more biscotti so we could eat and sketch.

I don’t think I have said how wonderful the biscuits and cakes are here in Sicily. They are just so delicious. I have found a favourite shop and favourite biscuits with lemon. I don’t even like lemon peel, but these have a cross between actual peel and candied peel and they are just the most delicious. But I still try many others, just in case there is something as good.

imageI decided not to draw the fountain, and just sketched these windows and the clock. Architectural detail is what interests me at home and continues to do so here.

In the afternoon the group went to see the Parco Archeologico della Neapolis, but I didn’t go. It sounded like a lot of hanging round in the cold to me. Some were even staying on into the night for the Via Crucis (the Stations of the Cross). I had a nice afternoon at the apartment. Going out for supplies in the late afternoon, I ran slap bang into three who had gone on the trip, home already to get out of the cold.

I should explain that antiquities don’t do it for me. Sicily is full of them and I am sure they are wonderful. But I am here for the baroque. That is what excites me. I could sit in Piazza Duomo every day and just gaze at the same buildings.


Filed under collage, Copic Multiliner, Italy, Ortigia, Sicily, Siracusa, sketchbook, sketching, Travel, watercolour

Sketching the duomo

imageThe duomo in Ortigia is very very impressive. It is in a beautiful piazza with a number of other beautiful buildings. So we settled ourselves into the bar that has now become my favourite, and decided to attempt a sketch of this ornate building. Only a partial sketch of the building this time. Wimp, I know. But it is so complex.

Not with the group? Um, no. Somehow Siracusa is so beautiful and it has enchanted me. I can do printmaking at home, but I can’t sit in Piazza Duomo then.
Oh, in the morning I went back to the Desigual shop. It is still coooold. The scarf I bought at Fiumincino is purple, and it doesn’t go with the red tops I brought with me. And I am running out of clothes and I need a scarf to keep warm. You can see me with the red top and new scarf here. Che bella figura!

imageI am at yet another bar, round the side of the duomo this time. We had gone out for a walk and a glass of red wine. My last trip it was hot, and we drank beer, but this time red wine is the thing to keep,us warm. We ate at home. The food from the delicatessens are sooooooo delicious here, it is so easy to eat at the apartment.


April 18, 2014 · 3:07 pm

First day in Siracusa

imageOur first morning in Siracusa we went to a briefing in the print-making studio, before going for a walk through the market. We had to buy some bits of fruit or vegetable for a project in the studio later in the day. We bought enormous strawberries for our breakfast, and some artichokes and eggplant for the printing project.

We sloped off from the group to sit down for a coffee and sketch at a place where some of the others had stopped for coffee the previous evening.

I am using Siracusa and Ortigia interchangeably, because Ortigia is our part of Siracusa. We live right down near the pointy bit at the bottom of the Island. This next image is one I took the first morning I came out our door and looked down the street.

These teensy artichokes are what we brought for the printing project plus a big eggplant called a Violetta.

imageIn the event, I didn’t go printmaking. I was tired, we had laundry issues and technical issues and I decided I would MUCH rather stay back at the apartment and sort them out. But Annie went. Later we had a group ‘welcome dinner’, sitting outside. Too cold for me.


Filed under collage, Copic Multiliner, Italy, Ortigia, Sicily, Siracusa, sketchbook, sketching, Travel, watercolour

Off to Ortigia

imageWe had joined a print-making art group for our time in Sicily. After our four days in Taormina it was time to go back to Catania and meet them. From Catania, we were taken to Siracusa and to our apartment in Ortigia, which is an island connected by three bridges.

Immediately we all went out for lunch to a restaurant called “The Happy Celery”. After eating we pulled out our sketchbooks, and I sketched the pots of geraniums on the wall, suspecting it might be the only opportunity to sketch that day. There are flowers blooming everywhere in Sicily now. Geraniums and cyclamens mostly in the town, also wisteria, but in the country there is a blaze of yellow from the broom and other plants of a similar colour, interspersed with red poppies.

In the evening we went for a walk with the group for ‘orientation’ which was nothing if not confusing. Ortigia is amazingly beautiful, but the layout takes a little time. We went to the print studio where the group was to do their printing, and around the town. We also went to a small supermarket to get supplies. Very impressed by the man in the delicatessen there, who allowed us to try many things that were so delicious we had to buy them.


Filed under collage, Copic Multiliner, Italy, Ortigia, Sicily, Siracusa, sketchbook, sketching, Travel, watercolour