June 24, 2010. An old drawing I did over a year ago while sitting in my car in the center of town. Last night Germany beat Ghana, raising whoops and hollers and fireworks all over town. It was a night of celebration all over the country. Now we're up early packing the car to drive to Frankfurt so we can fly to Sweden for a week vacation, seeing some of my wife's family. Vacation at last. Hopefully I'll get a chance to do a little sketching while there.
Sunday. June 20, 2010. We had some friends arrive in Freiburg today, so I took the train up there to meet them and bring them the rest of the way down. I decided to head up early and spent a little more time than usual sitting on the curb drawing. I passed up all the old architecture and opted for this office building on the corner of Greiffeneggring and Wallstrasse, which sits right near the Schwaben Tor, a beautiful old gate that is more likely to be sketched than this building. I left out the traffic signal and another couple of signs, as they were blocking too much of the view. I spent at least two solid hours sketching, and got a sore behind from the ordeal.
Saturday. June 19, 2010. Here's a sketch from a couple weeks ago of a place we take visitors now and again across the border. Today we spent the majority of the day driving to/from Karlsruhe for my son's baseball game. I was happy to find a flea market next to the field, where I found a used seat post for my bike. My daughter and I both had our bikes stolen this past year, hers a brand new outfit, mine an old favorite. Thanks to some good friends, we now both have something to ride around town. All we need now is some real summer type weather. I have a few more days of work before we head out on vacation, and I'm hoping this June gloom breaks up.
Thursday, June 18, 2010. It's very quiet here in our corner of Germany. Serbia got the better of us today. Podolski had a chance with an "elfmeter," but it came to nothing. At the end of the loss, I could almost hear the entire country let out a huge sigh of disappointment. So ist dass Leben. Such is life. Football's a mighty big deal here. People don't take this lightly. Many people refer to the game as a religion here. Meanwhile, I hear that the Los Angeles Lakers became the big winners back home. So, we mourn while we cheer, and in a few years only a handful will remember the outcomes.
Thursday, June 17, 2010. Here's another sketch you may have seen before, from my trip to Nepal back in February. It's just a little scene of some apartments, I assume, which were overlooking the Monkey Temple area. I celebrated my 45th birthday yesterday. God has been good to me. I spent some time thinking about how good. I have a wonderful wife, two great kids, amazing families on both sides, a great job, a great church family, and loads of good, blank drawing paper. When I think back to how I felt about life in my early 20s, I would never have imagined such an amazing future for myself. Goals for myself for the next 45? I want to be a better dad, a better husband, a better teacher, a better friend, and I want to fill up even more of those blank sketchbooks.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010. This is a sketch I did back in November, sketched out on location, then finished up at home. I know I won't be sketching as much these next couple of weeks, so I thought I'd recycle through a couple old ones. Now that summer's here, I'm spending my days painting some classrooms, and then getting some long-awaited jobs around the house done. Of course, evenings are spent watching the World Cup games. Summer in Southern Germany is always nice. Our kids often hang out at the Kandern pool and we use our back patio for grilling and hanging out with friends we haven't had time to see during the school year. God has given us a great year. I enjoyed teaching my son, and collected loads of memories that will last me for years to come. My daughter has her summer to relax before her rigorous Junior year of high school. So hard to believe that next summer the plan is to look at colleges back in the States.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010. The drawing looks nothing like I initially intended. I was hoping to get away from using Micron pens, but alas, here I am again. Japan was playing Cameroon, but I was skipping it to take the boys to baseball practice. I was more interested in the Italy - Paraguay game coming later. I took along my sketchbook and found this cool library in the center of town with a world map bubble raised up on the cobblestones in front of it. Once I started drawing, I realized I was back to my cartoonish style after all. So be it.
Saturday. June 12, 2010 I confess, I am a reluctant blogger. I had decided to once again close down this blog, but a couple readers encouraged me to continue posting. So here I am. I can't explain all of the reasons I am reluctant, but there's a part of me that resists technology in general. (Of course I write this while watching US - England replays.) I'm not saying I don't like technology. I just don't like the way it captures so much of my time. It is tricky to find the balance. And regarding sketching- I have to constantly evaluate what is a reasonable amount of time to spend doing it. I am finding that one of the best things for me to do is to actually schedule a one or two hour period of time on a weekend to go out and draw, providing the weather allows it. Now, a little about this sketch. I found this old flour mill in the town of Brombach a couple weeks ago, and sat across the street to draw it. I'm taking a little different approach to sketching these days, taking more time at the outset to mentally establish where the vanishing points are, then working from there to look more carefully at angles and relationships of intersecting lines. This sketch has some obvious flaws, but I'm posting it with the hope of improving as I go. In the past, I have sketched with Micron pens and used a watercolor wash, but for now I just want to practice with pencils or pencil/watercolor. I want to push myself a little to work more accurately, and yet stay a little loose. (Eventually, I think our personalities emerge from our drawing style.)