One last post from Brazil. This one’s a little bit of a hodge-podge. Remembered bits and pieces, single-image memories, one long, sketch-filled day in the Santa Teresa neighborhood of Rio and well, more bits and pieces…
Coming to Rio after a week in quiet Paraty is like taking the 6 train to Canal Street and getting spat out of the subway into the madness that is Chinatown. Rio was chaotic, frenzied and disorienting. I loved it.
This is the Church of Our Lady of the Candelaria, Centro, Rio. Sketched barely an hour after we arrived in Rio. The wobbly-lined, slightly crazy looking church sketch reflects how it felt to be in the city center after a week in Paraty.
Even crazier (if that is possible) was the Confeiteria Colombo, a pastry and tea shop near Centro. Packed with people, with an intricately patterned tiled floor and over-the-top architectural detailing, a wall of floor-to-ceiling mirrors and liveried waiters. Oh, and with a million choices of pastries and cakes. Here we are, a table full of sketchers supposedly eating. I have to be super tired to sketch like I did, with the wire binding of my book on right (wrong?) side of the page.
Copacabana Beach. Big beaches with white sand have never held my attention much, so after a quick beach sketch, I sketched the sidewalk along the beach with it’s lovely wave-patterned mosaic.
The next day was spent around the neighborhood of Santa Barbara. We started by climbing the Escadaria Selarón, created by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón. They are a riot of color, and crazily difficult to draw because all that color flattens every sketch out into an abstract collage-like mess.
So after one attempt at the steps, I turned around and sketched the view looking down from the steps.
Climbing up to Santa Teresa, we paused to draw a view of the favelas spilling down the hillside with Sugarloaf mountain in the background.
Santa Teresa is a neighborhood packed with beautifully decrepit buildings on sloping streets. I drew a few over the course of the afternoon.
A little sketch next, this one of the public phones around Rio. Funny shaped things in pairs around the city, designed to stick your head into and stand under while you use the phone.
More sketches, this time from a market I’ve forgotten the name to. These women held up signs saying “We buy Gold”: Old gold ornaments, family treasures to be resold or melted down.
More sketches near the market. More charmingly decrepit buildings.
And one last sketch of the beach, from my last afternoon in Rio. It was windy and the beach was almost deserted. I did a little sketch, but mostly I watched Stephanie Bower capture this vista so effortlessly in her moleskine sketchbook.
Time to go home. Goodbye Rio. Goodbye Brazil. What a trip it was!