The witch tower at the very West of the fortifications at the Cistercian abbaye Maulbronn was built 1441. There is no documentation for the origin of naming the tower “witch tower”.
It is a five-story building in big, impressive sandstone masonry. I placed my tripod chair in the old cemetery, a lovely place with cypress hedges and Robinia trees cut in balloon form.
Chances are good that this ink drawing shows my final destination.
About half a mile from here the local gambling shop was robbed on a sunny Sunday morning. The railroad runs behind a curtain of trees not far away as the road, busy with cars and lorries. There is the permanent sough of wheels on asphalt and steel in the air. The cows are hidden from my view, but I see their traces in the branches of trees and bushes pruned as far as the mouth can reach. It been like this for decades now.
Plum tree trunk,ink on paper
I seem never to get tired of looking at trees. There is a remote place about 20 minutes walk from my home amidst the fields and meadows were some plum trees grow unattended, just not cut yet by the farmers who plow through the root area, damage the branches and don’t care in many ways. The fruits are for the animals. This year the plums are still green in August. Hidden from the eyes of walkers and motorists I draw the neglected,weathered plum tree trunk, perhaps they are gone next year.
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.
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.
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.