This year I produced again a few drawings in a handy postcard format for art lovers in a limited edition. Nothing big, just a nice present to be happy about, maybe send a card greeting again, or as a present! More info here.
But behind each of these pictures are many memories, stories, thoughts, encounters. Some of them I write down here.
Brühl 53 – February 21,2020
February is cold and wet. Hard times to draw outside on location. Looking for a warm place with a interesting view, I came across a café in Leipzig city center. On the “Brühl”. Opposite there is this beautiful entrance gate. Perfect! Coffee ordered, off you go! Then the young woman appeared just in time to come into the picture. I wonder if the two broad-shouldered guys up there were listening to what she was saying on her cell phone? It looked like that, doesn’t it?
Then I always ask myself, what is it that actually I am looking at so intensely now and start to do researches. Simply: Draw & Explore. Before WWII, the “Brühl” was the center of the Leipzig fur trade. One fur store after another. At that time, Leipzig was one of the biggest fur trading centers in the world. Today, hardly anyone knows that. Nor does it know that many Jewish businessmen worked here. Until the war… Than you know… The house number “Brühl 52” is part of the “GLOECK’S BUILDING”. It was built in 1909 for the furrier Richard Gloeck (1864-1946), who was also known as the “Chinchilla King”. That’s why the little fur animals in the ornament above the door! The whole house is beautiful. Sometime I have to draw it completely. I found that quote by the Jewish journalist Philipp Manes in his book about the German fur industry in 1941. about the building:
“A certain feeling for his personality can be recognized from the building, and whoever has ever made the acquaintance of the builder, can’t imagine his house to be anything else than what it is today.”
In 1939 the business was closed down. Unfortunately I do not know more about R. Glöckner. Until now… If you know more, let me know!
INTO THE FAR… – May 16, 2020
Saturday excursion with my wife to the Störmtaler See in the south of Leipzig. The lake was one of the former open-cast mining holes that now form the Leipzig “Neuseenland”. Actually I had been drawing a couple sitting dreamily on the shore. My wife was simply waiting for me. Isn’t she wonderful?! When I turned around, I saw her there looking into the distance with her big straw hat and had to catch her standing there in the water with a few strokes.
And to be honest, this little sketch of maybe 5-7 minutes arouses much more emotions in me, remembering this peaceful afternoon than the picture of the couple I drew for 30 minutes or more. The fast things sometimes catch the special things much better. That’s why I love reportage drawings and sketching so much.
Vineyard house I & II near Naumburg – May 31, 2020
Over Whitsun I spend some days with my woman – and without children! – in a wonderful vineyard house near Naumburg.
Only a few meters away Max Klinger had his vineyard house and a special etching house. (After Adolf Menzel, Max Klinger was probably the most important “classical” German draughtsman, graphic artist and painter of the 19th century and a model for Käthe Kollwitz and many others). He was called the “Michelangelo of the Germans”. Today hardly anyone knows him anymore, but this year his 100th anniversary of death was commemorated with large exhibitions in Leipzig and Bonn. His grave is also nearhis old vineyard house. He knew where it is beautiful!
So a good place to draw and paint, isn’t it? And if there is such a thing like ” a soul’s home”, a place where you immediately feel at home and it feels like you had a long time past here, then for me it is somehow this landscape around Naumburg.
I was immediately taken with this wonderful, somewhat weathered vine arbour. Therefore two pictures. But I had drawn much more. Both of them were created on the same day shortly after each other in my large A4 Hahnmühle watercolor sketchbook.
Paradise is not far away!
Before flowering – June 14, 2020
I love peonies!!! I especially like the ball blossoms just before they open. When I was finished I painted the background black with ink. I never do that normally. But here it fit perfectly and I am happy about it. It emphasizes the gracefully curved stems and leaves in contrast to the large spherical flowers.
After I posted the picture on Instagram, Katrin Merle, an illustrator from Berlin who is a friend of mine, suggested that I draw how they continue to blossom every coming day! Cool idea! Let’s go for it.
Three pictures were created, but unfortunately they didn’t bloom properly. Katrin said that the salmon colored ones blossom better and don’t stick together like that. Well, let’s see. Next spring?
Templar chapel, Mücheln near Wettin – June 24, 2020
In June Corona took a break and I was actually able to go to the Petersberg Monastery for a retreat. It was wonderful.
On the way there I wanted to see Wettin an der Saale. This small village is the cradle of the Saxon kings and I had always heard how beautiful it was supposed to be there. And it is! Especially the castle is very picturesque.
But on the way further in direction of the monastery Petersberg I discovered a sign at the wayside: “Templerkapelle”. What??? Sharp braking! Here? Where? Behind a gateway between various residential and other buildings stood this wonderful gem from the 13th century.
Fantastic!! A lot of people seem to put a lot of energy into it to get a real jewel.
I didn’t have much time so I unpacked my little sketchbook and just started without any preliminary drawing. With brown ink and then painted almost only with deep blue and madder brown watercolors. This year I experimented a bit with 5 point perspective, which imitates the effect of wide angle lenses. I think that also enlivens again.
„Alte Spinnerei“ reflekted, Leipzig – July 18, 2020
Once a month we meet with the Urban Sketchers in Leipzig. In July we met in the “Alte Spinnerei”. This is Leipzig’s art hotspot #1! Neo Rauch and others have their studios and galleries there. But above all it is a wonderful place an old textile factory, which was a city in itself a hundred years ago. With apartments, factory, gardens and everything.
This “ImbissTruck” stands there for an open-air cinema. At first I was fascinated by the pink and yellow tires. But while drawing I thought: How beautiful these reflections of the brick buildings in the large glass panes are. And then I stayed with the reflections.
Stranded, Heringsdorf – August 3, 2020
The summer of 2020 was special. Corona and all. But we mostly spend our vacations in Germany anyway. There are such beautiful corners. But this year we dared to go to the Baltic Sea again. In the hope that it would not be so overrun. And it worked. On Usedom there is this boat which is on the beach of Heringsdorf and I found it so beautiful, how the father with daughter and son looked for shade there. At some point they noticed me and came over. Sarah, Aaron and Papa Markus from the Erzgebirge. Summer, sun and sea… What more could you want?
The AEG locomotive E04 – August 7, 2020
This locomotive stands as a museum piece in the Leipziger Bahnhof. I remember with pleasure how I met with skater friend Armin there. At some point someone came by and talked to us. The E04 series was used for express trains from the 1930s until the end of the 80s. He was an engine driver himself and still drove them. These are the nice things I appreciate so much about this drawing on the spot. People stop: “May I look over their shoulder?” and at some point they tell about their life or whatever. I like that. Most of the time.
The Old National Gallery, Berlin – September 28, 2020
At the end of September I met with artists in Berlin. My first stop was – very classical – the Museum Island. It was half past ten in the morning. I still remember how unusually empty the square in front of the museum was. Corona. There was something there. But this way we could soak up the atmosphere of the architecture there, draw and paint without being disturbed.
This year I tried out a lot with watercolor and more and more often I just started directly from the large forms without preliminary drawing. I am inspired by many artists like Lis Watkins (@lineandwash), Shari Blaukopf, Poppy Balser, Jörg Asselborn and many more…
At some point I had to remember that in the Old National Gallery (among many others) the paintings of Adolf Menzel can be seen. An absolute giant of drawing! Here I also saw the Amalfi sketchbooks by Carl Blechen for the first time, which are simply stunning.
AND AS A BONUS – because Christmas is coming up…
Our Christmas pyramid
We received them as a gift many, many years ago and they are a must during Advent. It is on practically every day. And if there is any way, there is after 16:00, when it is dark outside, a coffee and Christmas cookies and the pyramid… So you can enjoy December.
Those were the stories behind the pictures. If you want to buy the cards, maybe for yourself or as a gift, then look here. While stocks last.