Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wachau 2

On Sunday morning we looked for a place in the hills again to paint downstream. The sun burned down, there was no wind and the landscape seemd to shimmer in front of our eyes.
After lunch we drove to the landing station of the car ferry oposite of Weissenkirchen. This is just a first quick sketch as - how else can it be on a painting trip to Wachau - the next thunderstorm put a rather hurried end to this weekend. Driving back home I thought about what a failing this painting turned out to be. Some days later I put this years paintings side by side with last years and suddenly I could see the developement even in this unfinished painting above. Maybe there is hope still.....

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Just a couple of days after returning from Croatia, Albert offered another workshop in Wachau, as he did last year. This year I could only join him on Saturday and Sunday. Some of the places where we painted were the same as last year but others were new. The above painting was made from the hills of the Wachau, looking over the Danube to the hills on the other side of the river (which is NOT Wachau).
Just when we had settled in after lunch to paint Dürnstein, it started to rain - as it did last year - and we had to flee. I finished the above painting at the same place where we hid from the rain last year, a lovely terrace in the middle of vinyards which is covered by a roof and offers a marvelous view of Stift Göttweig.

Oh no, this painting was not done by me! After starting out with a rather pale yellow monastery and an even paler green blob for the hill, Albert took my brush saying: Dare to be wild. And then he demonstrated what he meant! I have a long way to go.....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The last day in Croatia

The last day was spent in Drage again, everybody finding their own subject to paint. The sailingboat sits much too high on the water, but as a whole, this painting fits in with all the other wc paintings I produced this week....
I had a lot more fun drawing this seemingly abandoned boat which I found between the bushes on the way up to the main street. I still have to learn to leave more light areas.
The evening was spent at a small place on the coast eating mussels fresh from the sea. A somewhat melancholy sunset, as on the next day we would be on our way back home.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Croatia - Day 5

Day 5 started out in Sibenik, where most of us painted on the square in front of the dome.While this is definitely not one of my more successfull paintings, I seemed to have gotten over the slump of day 3 and 4. Live and learn....
The afternoon we spent at the wonderful nature preserve of Krk, painting waterfalls. Albert showed us one way and then I gave it two more attempts. It was fun, splashing water and color around.
Why does wc run, whenever I do not want it, but the time I needed drips, it did not?
I'm still uncertain, whether I should put highlights into the trees to the right, but for now, it will remain this way.

Sunset anyone?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sometimes you win and sometimes you loose

After a day spent walking through the old town center of Zadar working on our skill in making quick sketches and a stormy afternoon trying to find a sheltered place to paint in a little village I no longer remember the name of, we spent the next day in Split.

During that morning in Zadar and that afternoon in that little village I only managed to frustrate myself, trying to produce just something worthwhile and failing again and again. Well, that happens - write it off and start fresh the next day!

Split: The watercolor painting I started with just exists as an example of what not to do, but I quite like the next two pieces I produced.

Having gotten rid of my frustration I could finally concentrate again and try to find my center.
On our way back to Drage we stopped at Trogir, which has a lovely old town center. As all the streets are very narrow, it is not possible to paint there with a group, but we all had an hour to walk around, take photos or quick sketches as memory.
No sunset photo from these two days, just a photo of a little dog, which expresses perfectly, how I felt:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Croatia - Day 2

As the busdriver who drove us to Croatia and all the destinations there had to have a 24 hrs. period during the week without driving and the bora was still blowing hard we decided to stay in Drage, so whoever had enough of the wind could go inside. We stayed at a lovely new hotel, and in rooms offered by the hotelowners parents and sister. A true family cooperation. As other guests were only arriving during the last few days of our stay (sailing season starts middle of May) we had the whole place to ourselves.

In the morning I went with the others to the small harbour where we fought the wind painting two fishingboats to the amusement of their owners. I am quite satisfied with the result.

After lunch I had enough of the wind and stayed inside where we turned the restaurant into a studio. With Albert's help I continued working on my pen and ink skills.
Again, a marvelous sunset.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


At the beginning of May I spent a week in Drage, Croatia, with my teacher Albert Hofmann. To warm up we went to the little village of Tribunje, where we spent Sunday morning at the harbour, trying to capture the quaint little stone bridge and the old buildings on the other side. I was quite satisfied with the main outline, but could not manage defining the center, so Albert helped.
As there was still some time left, I turned to ink and pen and tried my hand at a new technique, which Albert had shown to me only a few weeks before.

The afternoon we spent at a little place at the shores of lake varna, a farm which sold their own lamb meat, different cheeses and wine. First we had the most wonderfull lunch:
and then were turned loose to find our own motives, which was really easy!

The ruggedness and "back to nature" character of the whole place just lent itself for my prefered mixed media: Ink, Watercolor and Crayon. An old fieldkitchen caught my eye as did a waggon full of straw.
Not only the donkeys were running around free, also a lot of chickens and Mirko the king of the whole farm (do not get between him and the chicken he wants!)
Not much of a motive, but a quick study to try to capture the light. Just minutes later there were dramatic changes in light, wind came up and the Bora chased us back into the bus and back home to Drage.
I never saw so many wonderfull sunsets in my life!