Monday, 30 November 2015


 The museum Senckenberg in Frankfurt am Main is one of the largest museum of natural history in Germany. Its popular with visitors, mainly because of its dinosaur fossil collection. It has been in existence for such a long time that it has become an attraction of its own: not for being sciency, but for displaying weird exhibits. Apart from good old T-Rex, you can find a a very dusty, stuffed anaconda eating a pig. There´s the usual stuffed animals, but also the scull of a conjoined twin calf. There are also exhibition cabinets from the 19th century displaying specimens in jars, immersed in formalin- a rather gruesome attraction, but very interesting.

Thursday, 26 November 2015



Matera is a city in southern Italy, in the province Basilicata. It is known as the subterranean city because of its structure of ancient cave dwellings which were inhabited since 7000 BC- and some of them were left only in the 1950s. The so-called  "Sassi" make up the old city center and are famous as film sets.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015


The IV° Naples Urban Sketching Workshop took place on Ischia Island, in and around Castello Aragonese. The tourist season was mostly over by mid October and the setting was superb- picturesque, peaceful but not too smooth. The family owned castle was a treasure, with its own garden, labyrinthic paths and beautiful views. Simo organized the event, did a lovely workshop,as did Caroline Peyron and Kelly Medford.

The castle still houses the studio of Signore Matera, the castle owner/painter. It has been left in its original condition since Matera´s death ten years ago. Caroline Peyron encouraged us to do collage in her workshop and we tried to recreate the shapes and colours in the oil paintings standing in his atelier. I was fascinated by the huge pile of brushes that was left behind.
Nowadays his children continue to manage the Castle, which is a tourist attraction and houses cafés, a restaurant and a hotel.

Our last day was spend in Negombo, a beach/botanical garden/pool plus hot springs that was named after a srilankan beach- no similarity whatsoever, but it has a nice ring to it. The hosts were incredible and accomadated the sketchers in every possible way.

I spent four days at Castello Aragonese but i could have easily stayed and sketched a couple more- like in Cattedrale dell'Annunziata, a cathedral ruin. There were also spectacular views of Ischia and the mainland everywhere you looked.