Walking Rome

In the pre-COVID 19 and world chaos universe, I would be sleepily stumbling around Rome right about now. After marveling the Pantheon, I would head to the Piazza Navona. I’d buy a gelato and sit on my sketching stool, then call my mother on Facetime so I could pan the scene and let her see where I am! Someone pinch me!

Once I’ve slurped down the gelato, I would start a sketch. I’ve sketched here a few times, mostly the same view with my back against the wall at one end while looking toward the other, watching the shadows change as the sun goes down.

2014 sketch in my 5×8 Pentalic sketchbook.
June 2019, sitting in almost the same spot. Slight change in style! This sketch is 8×16 on Fluid watercolor block (sadly, no longer made in this size) so I could get a little more detail in. I have to say, I got the yellow ochre glow better in the earlier one!

In 2014, I met up with my friend Kelly Medford, an American artist living the dream in Rome. Her work is beautiful, she hops on her bike and does oil painting on location!! She took my Civita workshop that year, and every time I go through Rome, I try to see her. She also runs sketching workshops for tourists, in case you ever go…

Really quick 2014 sketch of the Colosseum while walking around with Kelly. The left side is empty as it was covered in scaffolding at the time, but I like how it focuses on the broken edge on the right!

From the Colosseum to the Forum. It was probably 110 degrees midday as I sketched, and who should walk by, but my friend Francesca Caruso with a tour group! She took my first workshop ever in Seattle, and you can see her walking the streets of her beloved Rome with Rick Steves in his TV shows. She is amazing, her goal is to change the way people see their world…and she does it!!!

The tour continues tomorrow…and I have to say that these days, I am happy to be healthy at home, to have a roof over my head and food in my fridge. My sadness about not traveling pales in comparison to those in the world who are truly suffering. As I write these posts, I am counting my blessings…

11 thoughts on “Walking Rome

  1. Dear Stephanie,

    Loved walking down the streets of Rome with you. I especially like the one of the Colosseum.

    Simple and dramatic. Susan Appel


  2. I remember these places well and your paintings are lovely.
    Thanks for the reality check at the end. Whenever I pity myself for the isolation I always think of the Jews during WWII who didn’t know if family members were alive for eight long years and lived at the mercy of strangers in attics and cellars.


    1. Thank you, Barbara…and thank you for reading all the way to the end! I often wonder if anyone makes it that far 😉
      And what you visualize is really sobering indeed. I learned last summer that my uncle and his family in Holland helped Jews to escape…


  3. Keep posting Stephanie. I get to visit Rome through your sketches and story.. wish I am walking those path..


  4. Been there! Wonderful memories. Thanks for the sketches. I too am an Urban sketcher. In Chicago.
    I am grateful that we have this ability to sketch during these difficult times. It might be interesting for you to suggest some virtual sketch topics,locales and see what develops!
    Bill Fagan


    1. HI Bill, thanks for your comment! I love Chicago, at least what I was able to see while there for the symposium in 2017. I, too, am grateful for many things these days, including the ability to sketch. It really can help us get through difficult times. I haven’t yet stepped up to the virtual sketching plate, but I’m working on it! Thanks again…take care,


  5. Beautiful! Thanks for reminding me of a wonderful trip there.

    You may have imparted more yellow ochre to your 2014 sketch of the Piazza Navona, but I definitely like your 2019 better. It’s more interesting with the people, the colors are more varied, and the details are lovely!


  6. We are missing you this year in Rome for sure Stephanie. Be well and I look forward to our next visit and time sketching here together. Your work is always amazing!


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