Life in Patterns

I came to the city of Venice seeking inspiration.

I knew that this was a city full of beautifully ancient art and architecture, and that it was a city that most consider one of the most romantic places in Europe.

Before leaving Salzburg, I decided to lean on a theme for my longest weekend trip this semester.

Somehow it came to me that I should look forĀ “inspiration” in this all-magical city.

“Seek and you shall find.”


One of my favorite things about Venice was being surrounded on all sides by inspiring patterns– in floors, windowpanes, ironwork, the dress of people, etc. etc. etc.

I wanted to take my sketchbook around with me one day and spend an entire day creating a doodle using all of these typically Venetian elements… but sadly I did not have the spare hours on a day when the weather allowed. This is just one more reason for me to return to Venice!

While I couldn’t manage to join the masses of artists who carry around sketchbooks and set up oil paint easels along the grand canal, I did capture many of these fantastic patterns with my camera!

I hope you will find a glimmer of your muse in these images, just as I did.

IMG_6706pat IMG_6703pat


When I visited St. Mark’s Basilica, I wasn’t very interested in the golden mosaic-covered domes, although these really were beautiful. I wasn’t interested in being shuttled through the roped-off areas of the cathedral like cattle, or in paying an extra 4 euros to enter each additional interesting area.

St. Mark’s reminded me strongly of the scene in the gospels where Jesus becomes angry at the marketplace hustle and bustle taking place in the holy temple.

I kept searching for a sense of holiness, peace, or even a measure of silence, but all of these things were ruined by the hoards of picture-takers, running children, construction workers doing restoration, gift shop bustle, and the ever-more restricting velvet ropes.

St. Mark’s did not feel like a church at all.

However, I took from this experience a healthy dose of artistic inspiration!

I was constantly in awe of the floors I was walking on.

Incredibly ornate marble patterns dating back centuries, just laying there for all of us to STEP on.

It was such a fantastic thing to take each step and think of the unbelievable work that went into each square inch.

IMG_6659pat IMG_6609pat IMG_6568pat IMG_6524

Check out these absolutely beautiful windows!!

I loved seeing the different window panes used throughout the city- even sometimes across the same building facade!

The circle windowpanes are incredibly common in Venice– if you look closely, each small circle even has a tiny hint of color, almost as a drop of watercolor paint in a full glass. So gorgeous.

I also fell in love with the constant motif of the Venetian pointed arches.

IMG_6632pat IMG_6675pat IMG_6447pat

I often find inspiration in wrought-iron work back home in the States, but Venice just takes the cake here!

So much beautiful geometry is found in these little alleyways, and viewed from the many canals.

Finding little things like this created wonderful daily surprises for me.

IMG_6612 IMG_6705pat

I love patterns that cause you to think.

You follow them with your eyes, and there is so much movement that you have trouble comprehending that ultimate question of “HOW?”

I love to happen upon a pattern that makes me wonder, “How could I even reproduce that?”

These works of art remind me of the sheer genius that produced them. I feel such awe for the artists that created these works of art.


Throughout the city, I was surrounded by absolutely beautiful pattern and geometry.

I am so thankful that my eyes were open to seeing these inspiring sights– no matter how small they may seem!

“The harmony of the world is made manifest in form and number, and the heart and soul and all the poetry of natural philosophy are embodied in the concept of mathematical beauty.” – Sir D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson