When I was 18, my generous grandparents sent me off on a summer abroad in Europe. For six weeks, I studied art in Italy, where two things happened. First, and perhaps most importantly, It dawned on me that one could actually make a career out of studying art. Of course at that time, I thought I could get a BA in Art History, then go run the Smithsonian. I’ve figured out I was wrong about that one.

Secondly, though, I got rather good at drawing. We sketched daily whether it was architecture, or sitting on floors of museums (can you still do that?). In fact, to this day I believe my best life drawing teacher was Michelangelo, as it was in drawing his sculpture for hours on end, that I came to understand the anatomy of the male physique – at least for drawing purposes!

So now here I sit, 20+ years later, in front of Szent István Bazilika in Budapest, thinking I’ll try another iPad sketch. And it’s an utter failure. It isn’t the medium, although I’m still getting the swing of that. Is that I simply can’t figure out where to start. How did I do this back then? Did I start with a line, a shape?

The same thing happened yesterday when I tried to sketch the interior of the Bookcafe.


Just no idea how to contain it, frame it, where to start? I miss this creative outlet. I love the feel of using my hand, and that hand-mind link that happens when a drawing starts to flow.

I wonder if I’ll ever feel that way about writing?

Anyway, here’s my latte.


Author: Robyne Calvert

Cultural Historian... art, design, architecture, fashion, etc.

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