There is a glut of Venice images, from masterpieces to pizza placemats to Facebook selfies. After reviewing my sketches and paintings from Venice I checked out a lovely book, Whistler and his Circle in Venice. I think I've adequately chided myself about not having anything new to add.
Near the Rialto bridge I ran into a teacher, happily drawing while his architecture students were elsewhere. The teacher said that their trip was about learning to see. We are so bombarded with electronic images and tied to electronic design techniques, he said, that staying in one place and drawing what you really see is a rare experience for his students.
And for most of us, I think. In Venice I overheard "did you capture that?" so many times, saw people glued to their phones and pads through this ancient watery marvel , making sure that they themselves are the main subject of their snaps, jockeying for the "best" background for their selfies. Do you really have to wait until you get home to see what you saw? Can you imagine yourself there, without the selfie?
I had some fantastic meals, a few wonderful conversations, spent a fair amount of time in museums and churches (same thing, and aren't museums redundant in Venice?) and even braved some of the major tourist attractions. But the time I spent drawing and painting was the highlight of my four days there. I wished I had more time and would happily go to Venice to paint again, seeking out the quieter neighborhoods and smaller subjects. Just seeing, with my eyes and hands.