Heritage Travel, Historic Preservation, Random DJB Thoughts
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To Be An Artist

Painters Supply Store

Consider the possibilities!

Yesterday the Fellows Walk took us to the opposite side of Rome, where the city grew outside the walls in the 19th century.  It was a different take, focused on unification, industrialization, and city planning.

The tour ended in the Quartiere Coppedè (the Coppedè Quarter) designed by architect Gino Coppedè. A small enclave of apartments and houses from the early 20th century, the buildings exhibit a riot of every Italian architectural influence imaginable.  Wild historical eclecticism – one short-lived response to modernism of the early 20th century.

Following the end of the tour, Candice and I roamed the neighborhood with Jeff Cody from the Getty, taking photographs and finding new elements to view on every wall.  Over a coffee, Jeff pulled out a small sketch book to show us some drawings he had made from earlier visits to Italy, and it was then that I regretted not having taken any sketching classes in my life.

Just look at these possibilities in the Quartiere Coppedè:

Coppede Quarter archway

Arch leading to the Coppede Quarter


Coppede Quarter Detail

Coppede Quarter Detail


Decorative arts in Coppede Quarter

Building decorative arts in the Coppede Quarter


Fountain in Coppede Quarter

View of the fountain in the Coppede Quarter


Tuscan architecture in Coppede

A piece of Tuscany in the Coppede Quarter

It was the second time in two days I’d had that same feeling.  The first was on Thursday, when we found an artists’ supply store near the Pantheon that was chock full of pencils, paints, colors, and everything needed to capture the city on paper.  Claire and I turned the corner and saw the paints pictured at the top of this post at the same time…and we had the exact same reaction.  Our cameras were at work instantly – trying to capture the vibrancy of the content of these jars on these simple wooden shelves.

I suppose it is never too late to take up sketching.  Ah, to be an artist.

More to come…



I am David J. Brown (hence the DJB) and I originally created this personal blog more than ten years ago as a way to capture photos and memories from a family vacation. After the trip was over I simply continued writing. Over the years the blog has changed to have a more definite focus aligned with my interest in places that matter, reading well, roots music, and more. My professional background is as a national nonprofit leader with a four-decade record of growing and strengthening organizations at local, state, and national levels. This work has been driven by my passion for connecting people in thriving, sustainable, and vibrant communities.

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