In 2002 I had the good fortune to return to Italy, this time to visit Rome. A school sponsored trip, I brought several students from Tuskegee University’s Department of Architecture with me.
Sketching played a larger role than on previous trips.
We arrived at our hotel in the center of Rome, and I made sure each student grabbed their luggage from the taxi. After riding the cage elevator up to the hotel lobby, I double-checked – all luggage accounted for!
Except for one piece – my camera bag.
My road-worn camera bag, which had accompanied me on trips across the US, Mexico and parts of Europe, remained on the back seat of the taxi. In addition to my 35mm SLR camera and lens were my sketchbooks and pens. Finding the taxi, now swallowed up in the Roman night, was a lost cause.
The next morning I bought a cheap point-and-shoot camera, an Italian composition book, a pad of vellum and some pens.
Knowing that at best I would go home with a bunch of grainy photographs, sketching became a more important way of documenting my experiences.
The following are a few of the sketches I made on this journey, which included a day-trip to the archaeological site Ostia Antica.
© Donald E. Armstrong and Material Practices, 2013