On the road to Assisi


When I promised to bring you along on this journey to my art residency in Assisi I thought I was prepared, but didn’t realize the extent to which living on the side of a mountain (Subasio) would make mobile connection a source of infinite frustration.  So please bear with me, while I attempt to share my now extensive collection of sketches and memories in small part with you.  I will preface it by saying the the journey here was a true test of endurance, but that my heart soars anew each moment I live in this heavenly place with abundant natural beauty, spiritual fulfillment, creative stimulation and excellent company.


But back to the long, long journey from California, which started at night and lasted forever.  Being able to sketch in certain moments of exhaustion was redeeming.  Such as this gentleman traveler in the Frankfurt airport, whose posture beckoned me to get my book out and helped me forget that I still had hours to go.

I spent the night in Rome, after it took me five hours to get from the airport to my hotel.  In the morning I went out for a walk and lasted about four blocks before collapsing from the heat and jetlag on some ancient stone steps and launched into the following sketch.


It was way too ambitious!  I returned to my hotel, checked out and dragged my two suitcases (one with art supplies, the other with clothes) the several blocks to the train station, over cobblestones and across streets with crazy drivers and through unpleasant smelling puddles (Rome is an exciting, electrifying city but definitely not clean!) to the train station.


I arrived drenched in sweat and uncertainty, aware that all the carabinieri outside were probably there to protect the travelers like myself who were vulnerable to one of the many thieves and shisters who were doing their own patroling of the masses.  By the time I’d gotten my ticket I was even more drenched in sweat and still didn’t know where to find the trains.  I had time so I sat on the dirtly floor along the wall with the other masses of exhausted travelers and became distracted by this couple standing a few feet from me, carrying on an argument in true latin style with massive gestures and protestations.  I was tired and my hand was shaky but I passed the next half hour in rapt amazement and delight at the sketching opportunity presented to me.  I realize that’s a bit strange, but that’s what happens when you get this addiction.

It’s late now and I have lots more to share and bring you up to date, but it will have to wait for another day when I have more time for the slow process of getting the pictures loaded.  Please forgive me for some raggediness in both the picture quality and text.  I’ll be back soon with more, and some pictures of this beautiful place where I am living this month, Arte Ginestrelle.  Tomorrow we have a tirp to Perugia.



  1. So glad you’re sharing this with us Susan. Your sketches are wonderful, and I really appreciated your description of the flight and arrival experience. Wow! Looking forward to hearing about and seeing more. Enjoy!


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