November 29, 2010. Some things in life just have to happen. You just have to make time for those things, because if you don't, you're just out of whack. I've learned, for example, that if I don't have family time, wife time, or God time, I can get totally out of my zone. Life gets way too busy. There seems to always be tons of emails to reply to, tons of paperwork, and the dog always needs a walk. I've also learned that for some reason, if I don't have some time each week to sketch something, I get a little edgy. So, here's my sketch for the day- another drill. This one has a little more guts than yesterday's.
November 28, 2010. Our little world here is covered in gorgeous snow. I have no idea how to paint snow, so once again I just found something sitting around the house to sketch. I realize now I goofed on the chuck, but oh well. It's my wife's birthday today, and I think she had a good weekend. Last night was the winter banquet, and my wife and daughter were both gorgeous. My wife persuaded me to do the waltz, knowing full well my lack of charm and poise. We managed to waltz into range to watch my daughter and her date, noticing they didn't look quite so awkward as we did. I was just happy we didn't have to do any swing dancing. Last time we tried that, I ended up sitting in a folding chair against the wall, watching my wife dance with someone else. Not my idea of fun.
November 22, 2010. Here's a sketch of my son's birthday present this year. He turned 12, so the big spenders that we are, we got him this Converse high top. We'll be saving up this year so that he can get the other shoe on his next birthday. By the way, thanks to Rene for telling me about the post that Charley Parker wrote on me at Lines and Colors. I love that blog, and it was pretty cool to see some of my sketches posted there. You can read it here.
November 21, 2010. This house is just a few steps away from us, up on zur Soufflenheimer street, across from the local high school. I see it all the time and I think they call it "Villa Stein." Every time I walk by it, to walk through the woods, I think about sketching it, as it has this mystery about it. Somehow it doesn't quite fit in to its neighborhood. It's almost too French looking to me. I suppose that's why I like it.
November 14, 2010. Today was the 2nd day of the föhn warm weather, and there is nothing but rainy days on the horizon, so I decided to sketch the little train station here in town while I've got the chance. We've only taken the little tourist train a couple of times. It winds its way through the Kandertal valley about 13 km to a little town called Haltingen- a great Sunday afternoon thing to do.
November 13, 2010. We have what’s called a föhn wind this weekend in Basel. As I understand it, this occurs when the moist air blows off the Mediterranean Sea, drops its moisture on the southern side of the Swiss Alps, then, transformed into a dry, warm wind, careens down the northern slopes into our region of Central Europe, suddenly changing a brisk, fall morning into a summer-like afternoon. Of course, it creates perfect sketching weather. I found a spot on the Dreirosenbrück (Three Roses Bridge), and watched the rowing competition below on the Rhine. Everyone was out and about. Many locals were dressed in heavy jackets and scarves, while some of us wore shorts, pretending it was summer.
November 7, 2010. I thought I'd show the basic tools I use when I'm out sketching. The little Winsor & Newton field box set was a gift from my mom many years ago, when I had no interest in using watercolor. I noticed that they're still available online, although I don't see them in stores. Mine will probably last me ten years.
November 5, 2010. Today was parent-teacher conference day at our school, and I get to work with some of the greatest families in the world. I scheduled a break in the middle of my day for lunch and a sketch, so I decided to just stay in my classroom and draw my workspace. My view is very colorful these days, but I wasn't able to draw the new calves that have been jumping around the field out my windows this week.
November 3, 2010. Once again, I'm drawing my son's shoe. I did one of his favorite shoes from fifth grade last year, and this represents his sixth grade. This sketch was about an hour- went real fast tonight. You can tell a lot from a boy's shoe. You can see he loves to run, climb, jump, slide, skate, and kick. All boy. Even the shoe string is worn to shreds. I wasn't able to capture the smell of this shoe- thank goodness.
November 2, 1010. Here's a favorite spot up the hill from Sitzenkirch, where I teach. The trail we take here leads through cherry orchards, where we take walks and graze in the early summer. The trail from the school, up to this point, then looping around back to the village takes just about one hour by foot.