Lienzingen is a small, picturesque village in our neighbourhood. I have done paintings,monotype prints and drawings of the place, especially of the west view that is fairly unspoiled and shows the traditional, rural organisation of these villages with a belt of houses,barns,shacks and backyard gardens towards the open farm fields. The bell tower of the old church, which is fortified like a small castle, is the landmark you can see from far away.
A bit outside there is a very fine gothic church. The scenery changes over the years. The vegetable gardens, so-called “Krautgärten” are a lot of work to keep in shape. Growing potatoes,beans,cabbage zucchini etc for own demand is less and less popular. I loved to visit thoses places for their summer and autumn flowers such as Cosmea,Hollyhocks,Sunflowers,Dahlias and others. Therefore many of the gardens are left open or change into lawns or parking ground for camping trailers etc. Apart from decaying shacks or barns which are demolished, many small traditional details are lost such as sandstone fence post and wooden fence elements that have to give way to more practical and less serviceable installations.
However it seems there is a slowly growing counter movement, starting from bigger cities for example Munich, where people can rent a patch of land at cheap money for growing their own vegetables and to keep the tradition of the Krautgarden alive.
Some of my earlier drawings of Lienzingen are more than 10 years old already. Sometimes I wish I had put more attention to details for documentary purposes in these works.
Landscape garden Bad Muskau,ink drawing in leporello sketch book,(Pentel brush pen)
Fürst Pückler (1786-1871) is one of the most peculiar persons I have ever heard about. I still need to read his famous memoir, but I already studied a bit of his remarks on landscape gardens. Landscape gardening was the ultimate obsession of the man who spent his fortune on two landscape gardens, the park Branitz near Cottbus and the other at Bad Muskau.
Pückler even traveled to England to find a second wife who could finance his garden projects,but this project failed. read more!
This is the “standard” view to Goethe’s garden house at Weimar located in a beautiful garden around the river Ilm. On a short trip around the beautiful South eastern parts of Germany I had the opportunity to do this ink sketch in a Japanese leporello journal.
I used the Pentel brush pen, which is one of the cheapest and best drawing tools I know. The size of a double page in the journal is ca.30X25 cm a bit larger than A4 size. On that trip I did 9 drawings which required 3 ink cartridges. I think it depends a lot on the paper how much ink is absorbed. The paper in this journal tends to take a lot of liquid. I could buy replacement cartridges in local art supply stores at ca. Euro 7.- for a pack with 4 cartridges. read more!
The summer vegetation is saturated with greens which sometimes can be a bit boring subject for Plein Air work. For that reason I have taken an excursion into ink drawing recently and added three more entries to my sketch or drawing book with local landscapes.
Maulbronn Elfinger Hof is an ancient Cistercian “Grangie” a kind of agricultural business unit, mainly for fish and wine, still in operation these days on behalf of the government.
This is a view on one the very first small post WWII houses that are visible from the east entry of Maulbronn. Most of the place is hidden from the West view in the valley of the Salzach. A summer thunderstorm was coming up.
Lienzingen is a three-mile walk from Maulbronn. The center of the village still has many very old frame-work houses from the 16-18th century. There are intentions to put the inner historic area under conservation. There are some reminders left from the old barn and garden belt that usually surrounded those villages. The old decaying barns have been refurbished and cleaned up. Old wooden fences and sandstone poles around the gardens, traditional roof tiles and other details disappear step by step. The church is a remarkable example for a “fortress church” surrounded by a walls and moat just like a castle to provide protection for the inhabitants in case of warlike disputes.
This charcoal sketch from 2004 shows a previous closer view with some more sheds and less big trees around. The old roof tiles were still there.
As soon as there is some confidence in drawing skills I think that a change in the drawing from life process happens. Instead of thinking how to get proportions right drawing makes a transition to writing, what it is from my point of view. The drawing is put down in writing movements and emerges from the hand like a letter is written.
I have documented a sketchbook drawing in a short time-lapse video. It really doesn matter for me anymore where I start with a drawing. ONce the first lines are set everything else is written down in relation to that. There is still some thinking going on, but only when the “text” seems to get difficult or unclear…questions about tonality, how to separate on thing from the other, or how to connect, how to separate textures etc.. Those who are interested in the pen I use might want to check out my website about pen drawing
Here are some more pages from my oil pastel sketchbook that gets slowly filled. The first and the last are not completely finished yet.
On the long Easter weekend I started a another small oil pastel painting in our local vineyards.This time I tested the time lapse function of my Gopro Hero Camera. I found that the time lapse mode does not help with battery capacity. I get the impression that the battery is used up at the same speed no matter what the camera settings are. Latter I had some difficulties to process the many high resolution images (3350 in 4 folders, 1 MB each image) into a film. Apparently my computer with 4GB Ram is not able to handle those big files. I could convert the images in the folders to mp4 films with the free Gopro software Cineform studio. Then I tried to join these films with Windows movie maker, which did not work. Only when I reduced the resolution Movie maker could put the film together.
I tried to get around that problem by re-naming the images,but the re-named images were not accepted by cineform the same way as the original images from the camera. Later I learned about free movie joiners, which I will use on the next part of the recording.
In Part one of the video the basic elements of the painting, sky, huts and hill are defined. I start with marking the horizontal line that separates the sky from the ground with a small piece of black oil pastel. I tried to catch the look of the changing, cloudy sky first because I knew I would need at least a second sitting.