January 17, 2014
Whose Studio Door is Never Shut
"These are some of the joys of the painter whose north light is the sky, whose studio door is never shut, and who often works surrounded by envious throngs, that treat him with such marked reverence that they whisper one to another for fear of disturbing him."
One hundred years ago, in 1914, an American artist named Francis Hopkinson Smith gave a series of lectures which were published in a book entitled Outdoor Sketching/ Four Talks Given before the Art Institute of Chicago. I found it recently, online, for free, and it was an interesting read. I've highlighted lots of passages for future consideration and perhaps publication on the Urban Sketchers blog.
Sitting last July in the charming central Italian town of Amelia, I too, took great pleasure that this sun-filled empty lot was my studio for the afternoon. As I sat and drew, I heard Italian soap operas from the windows above. Time passed slowly, measured by a sort of sundial formed by the shadow of open shutters.