Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Garden revisited

After last years experiment in renting a field to grow my own vegetables brought such dismal results I decided not to do it again. When spring came and all around people talked about planting things and magazines wrote about gardening, I was rather sad that I had decided against the field.
When I discovered packages with salad seeds while looking for something else, I decided to give it a go inside my flat. I filled a window box with dirt, put in the seeds, watered it and - went to Croatia for a week.
On my retourn I had the first sprouts and for some weeks now I carefully pick a handfull of leaves twice or three times a week.
No driving 50 km to get to my field and back, water from the tap, whenever I feel my salad needs it, cooking and remembering I need some salad? Just go into the living room and pick it!
I love this years "field" and maybe I'll experiment further next summer.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

32 World Wide Sketchcrawl

I've read a lot about sketchcrawls and looked at the site for the world wide sketchcrawls but had always missed the date by some weeks. This time I stumbled over it just in time and even found a group in Vienna.
We met in the morning near Arsenal a former military area which still houses the Museum of Military History. They also have events there quite often, today there was a group showing how the artillery trained and operated (including a lunch time salute of three LOUD shots).
I even sketched some of the actors from a distance.
They were nice enough to tell us, which command would be followed by the shot, so we could cover our ears!

The last sketch was just a quick one, before we left for lunch. Three very nice productive hours!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer in the zoo

On sunday I spent a lovely morning at the zoo, visiting old favourits and new arrivals. The little giraffe was born just a few days ago and was lovely to sketch while it rested.
It's mum (or aunt) was not so easy to capture as she was either eating or walking around, but I finally did manage to get her head quite well.

And of course I had to visit Vladimir, whom I had not seen quite some time. I only managed a quick sketch as people were arriving for feeding time and I did not enjoy sitting in the middle of all that.
I did manage a quick sketch of his hand though.
It was a rather hot, sunny day and the rhinos were sleeping in the shade - how advantagious for sketching!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Every summer the huge area in front of Vienna's town hall is used as an open air cinema, where Opera, Ballett and Concert movies are shown as soon as it is dark enough. The area leading up to the square in front of the town hall is filled with tables, chairs and places offering food and drinks from around the world. On sundays at lunch there is "Jazz Frühschoppen". Every sunday a different jazz group plays a free concert. For quite some time I have thought that this would be a great opportunity to sketch people, but this last sunday was the first time I finally managed to do it. Strenghtend with wine from Burgenland and a cheeseburger I withstood the summer heat and put pen to paper (rather the much famed pentel brush pen, Roz writes so much about).While I noticed a lot of people looking at me, I was very glad that no one tried to get a closer look. It is so much easier drawing or painting in public if one is part of a group!
OK, so there is a lot I have to learn about the human body :-).
As Sunday was also the end of the Austrian cycling race ending with 10 rounds around Ringstraße ending in front of city hall the jazz concert soon had a horrible background of anouncers and music from a radio program '"coming life from...... "

While I felt sorry for the musicians, I just packed up my stuff and left. Maybe, if the weather holds, I'll try again next Sunday.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Life drawing

There are two big Makart exhibitions in Vienna right now. Künstlerische Volkshochschule organised a life drawing workhshop one evening in one of the exhibitions at the lower Belvedere: Makart - Painter of the senses.

I was lucky enough to get a place. Just imagine spending an evening in a closed exhibition, being free to examine all the wonderfull paintings without crowds and then sitting in front of this:
and have a model pose for life drawing. We did three long poses, which gave people unfamiliar with live drawing like myself the chance to get successfull drawings.

The first pose was about 30 minutes, we used charecoal on brown paper and were very well coached by a teacher who not only went over the basics for all of us quite quickly but thoroughly, but also drew attention of each of us to areas of our own sketches which were not correct.
I quite enjoyed the way we were taught, the atmosphere of the whole class was very relaxed but oh, so concentrated.
We were watched of course the whole time by guards, for whom this whole event was also something new. Till the end of the two hour class they had relaxed considerably and probably realised that none of us would attack the paintings, and were not only quite curious about our drawings but paid generous compliments as well.

During the evening it was announced that two more evenings would be organised. I am quite miffed that I will not be able to attend, as I have events for my job on both, I can not get out of. Attending a weekly class in life drawing next school year at KHV is very high on the list of things to plan and think about though.