Montepulciano – The Little Red Car

Montepulciano - Little Red Car
Little red car in a slanted alley in Montepulciano, Italy, 2017

I always explore off the beaten path when I am in an unknown place. Montepulciano is a very beautiful city but to me, the visual gems are hidden in nooks and crannies, up – or down – hills, in cul-de-sacs, or behind buildings. This red Fiat was parked behind a building up a steep slope from a more commercial and busy shopping street.

This was late afternoon, with the sun still heavily splashing the rooftops, but only partially getting to street level. The lighting was perfect. It added mood and even highlighted the appropriate areas. I couldn’t have wished for a nicer setting.

It was very quiet. No one around. Just me and my camera. I framed my shot and took the photograph. I knew I’d be working on this one.

Small Athens Courtyard

Small Athens Courtyard
Small courtyard in Athens

I was in Greece for a short stay, and only had the chance to see Athens and Nafplio. I did not have a whole lot of time for walkabouts, so I did the best I could in picking some interesting spots for digital painting.

This was taken through a grid, as the place is private. I love the way the owner(s) used potted plants to enliven an otherwise feature-poor entryway.

Montepulciano Pottery

Montepulciano Pottery
Montepulciano Pottery

Italy is full of visual gems. Case in point, during a Montepulciano walkabout, this pottery set painted with a Tuscany theme in a window display caught my eye.

I’m sure they probably offered delivery to whatever country you live in, but I find that a digital painting takes less space in my NAS than the set would have required in my kitchen. Of course, I do not have the pleasure of serving olive oil, or fresh water from these beauties.

Prayer Time

Prayer Time
Monastic Fraternity of Jerusalem during Friday night prayer

Friday night, Plateau Mont-Royal,  Monastic Fraternity of Jerusalem members praying in the Sanctuaire du Saint-Sacrement, a very beautiful and historically significant church built between 1890 and 1908.

I was walking by and noticed the church was open. They were celebrating Mass, and singing prayers. The sound was beautiful.

I walked up to where I could be close to the monks and nuns and tried to be as unobtrusive as possible while having a clear view of the assembled singers. So this is what I came up with.

Bund Promenade, Shanghai

Bund Waterfront in Central Shanghai
My take on the classic view from the Bund waterfront, in Shanghai

My 2016 trip to Shanghai was too short but, thanks to fantastic and gracious hosts, I was able to see and experience very beautiful places, taste foods I would not have known or dared to order, travel on one of their high-speed trains, and generally learn a bit of a fantastic and complex culture. I wish I had more time. Sheesh!

This is my painter’s interpretation of my own 2016 photograph of the classic view from the Bund promenade on the Huangpu River. Hope you like it.

Humble Administrator Garden – Suzhou

Humble Administrator Garden Suzhou 01
One small space in this magnificent classical Chinese Garden

Suzhou (pronounced Sujo) is known for its beautifully manicured classical gardens — nine of which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites and two are considered China’s most famous: Lingering Garden and Humble Administrator’s Garden.

For more on this: http://www.traveltosuzhou.com/things-to-do/suzhou-china-gardens

Pudong Panoramic

pudong-panorama-01-1518-600

Pudong District, as seen from the Bund, on the Western bank of the Huangpu River, Huangpu District, Shanghai. Took more than a week before I could get all the buildings in the clear. Low clouds and rain are common here and make these kinds of shots a tad hard to get. I was lucky.

For more details on this particular area, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bund

Cava Baja, Latina Barrio, Take 2

Cava Baja, Latina Barrio, Madrid, Take 2
Cava Baja, Latina Barrio, Madrid, Take 2

The Latina Barrio is a very busy and lively sector of Madrid. It starts breathing at dusk, as the day’s light fades away. It is full of restaurants and people start occupying the place as the night moves in. Just lovely.

Cava Baja, Latina Barrio, Take 1

Cava Baja, Latina Barrio, Take 1, Madrid
Cava Baja, Latina Barrio, Take 1, Madrid

Cava Baja, at dusk, as the life starts to pick up. Restaurants don’t open much before 7 PM, or 19 h, and life won’t be buzzing until much later. Spaniards are not early revelers, so tourists can fill the available seats earlier in the trendy places.

Puerta del Sol, Early Morning

 

Puerta del Sol, Early Morning, in Madrid
Puerta del Sol, Early Morning, in Madrid

The sun had barely started its day, which is the only time you can see the Puerta del Sol plaza empty. On our way to nice churros at the San Gines Chocolateria, fine fare for an early morning walkabout.

The World As I See It

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