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December 7, 2012

Machu Picchu

I still have a number of sketches from my summer travels through Brazil and Peru to post and share.  This iconic view of Machu Picchu in the remote Peruvian Andes was only possible after two days of travel from Brazil by plane, train and bus, adjusting to ever higher altitudes along the way.  Many in our group were completely disabled for a time from altitude sickness in combination with other maladies; luckily Patti and I were able to experience the splendor of this remote Inca site with only minor queasiness.  We were part of a group of landscape architects, urban designers and kindred spirits who have traveled around the world together for a dozen years, seeking out, studying and sketching the great places.  Machu Picchu will certainly always be at or near the top of that list.

We arrived early morning, and were led through the site by a very able guide over the course of 4 hours.  After a light lunch I climbed back up to this vantage point with my sketching partner Brian Goad to capture the scene while perched on a boulder.  The site was much more crowded in the afternoon, but sketching allowed me to become completely absorbed in imagining how the place must have looked and felt when most occupied and active.  I couldn't more enthusiastically recommend a travel destination; put this one on your bucket list.

22 comments :

Laureline said...

Wow. That is not a clever or unusual response but there we are. This is stupendous.

James Richards said...

Thank you Laureline...I felt very humbled to be in a position to capture this view.

Asnee said...

this is, to me, a sketch of nothing less than heaven to a sketcher to come home with! you have with you a piece of work that's more than fantastic, Jim.

If I should miss the chance of visiting Machu Picchu, I can always look at this sketch of yours instead, any time..thanks Jim:-)

Brian Goad said...

Great sketch Jim! What a great afternoon. I remember the lighting would constantly change with the cloud cover. It was so magical. Is this a combination of water color and colored pencil? Did you color the original, or is this a copy? I left mine black and white, but would love to experiment with color.

Brian

James Richards said...

Asnee, I admire your work so much, your comments mean a great deal to me. BRIAN!! How are you my travel buddy?!? This is the original in that big Moleskine sketchbook. It's watercolor, but I added a little colored pencil on the grass terraces to tone down the loud green...it's still a little loud for my taste. Great to hear from you.

kumi matsukawa said...

Splendid!!!

Suhita said...

Beautiful, you captured that wonderful towering rock formation and the remains of a civilization under it better than any photograph i have seen. It's on my bucket list, now I REALLY want to go soon!

petescully said...

This is stunning, such a perfect capture of it. Simple but magnificent. We can all learn from this!

John Wright said...

Terrific sketch Jim. The simple colour palette helps the legibility.

Jorge Echevarria Guibo said...

Gran Sketch!! me siento orgulloso de ser Peruano y ver el Macchu Picchu dibujado por grandes compañeros!!

kane said...

amazing

Urusai said...


without words

TIA said...

lovely

miked said...

Absolutely stunning!!
Machu Picchu, my dream trip too....

Shari Blaukopf said...

Possibly one of your most spectacular sketches Jim!

INMA SERRANO said...

Yes! Love the point of view... So small people!!!! Beautiful green!

Jim Bumgarner said...

I love your work because you have this amazing ability to, with simple lines and composition, pack it with such interesting things to look over and study. Amazing work, James.

Bajzek said...

Impressive!

VHein said...

What a treasure...to be there, see this, and share it this way.

marctaro said...

tremendous! such an epic view.

omar said...

Spectacular drawing!

Murray Dewhurst said...

Not sure how I missed this beauty in December. You've captured it beautifully! For some reason when I was there I only managed a sketch of the Urubamba below.