September 29, 2011. Beautiful days- they keep coming. I took my break times from teaching to go and do this sketch today. I got a message from one of my former fifth graders- she's now beginning to be a teacher herself, and wanted some tips. Pretty cool, although it makes me feel just a bit old. Tomorrow night the weather should be good, so we'll do a camping trip with all the boys and some of the dads. Some years we come sopping wet, so hopefully our nice weather will hold out.
September 26, 2011. Vlad- he's certainly in it for the long run. Another gorgeous day in Kandern, eating dinner outside, on the bike to and from work every day, through the corn fields... can't beat it. Micah had a drum lesson in Sitzenkirch, so my wife and I took the dog through the forest at sunset. Feels like summer will never end, but we know better. The trees are just beginning to change into their new fashions, and in a way I'm ready for it.
September 25, 2011. It was a beautiful Sunday in Kandern. At the Eimeldingen church there were 25 baptisms. It was the pottery fest in town and all the best potters were showing their wares; a festive atmosphere, and the perfect temperature for it. I took some time to sketch this little scene in Wollbach, where I teach, then came home and took a bike ride with my wife through the countryside. Tomorrow we start our sixth week of school, and I can hardly believe how fast the year is going by.
September 24, 2011. I was just working on some simple illustrations for my aunt again today, for a powerpoint presentation she will be giving. I'm trying to get more familiar with using Illustrator, as occasionally someone will ask me for illustrations instead of my usual watercolor sketches. A beautiful day in Kandern; couldn't be better outside. We're looking forward to seeing our friend Danny in concert tonight- should be a big turnout. Have a great weekend everyone.
September 22, 2011. Here's one of those spots I noticed the other day, as I was taking a walk through the village of Wollbach, where I teach. It happens to me literally all the time, every day. I see something that I want to draw. And then I draw it, and it becomes a part of me. As I sat here on the street, life was happening all around me. Two German school girls were lugging their backpacks home from school, walking down these steps, one of them telling the other to call her later- "Ruf mich an, Lisa!" Two older ladies were dressed in their Sunday best, riding bikes down the street, looking a bit lost. Later, a man and his wife came by. He had a smart disposition, carrying a pair of walking sticks, confidently clacking them on the stones, offering me a healthy "Guten Tag!" as they marched by.
September 20, 2011. I'm working on a little project for my aunt who is giving some workshops on caring for Alzheimer patients. I thought I would post this, as it describes a little of how I feel at times, trying to balance various boxes in my life, wondering if I need to consider setting some down for a while. I know some of it is about balance, but I think it's also true that we can sometimes carry burdens we really don't need to. The sketch is hand-drawn, then finished with Adobe Illustrator.
September 19, 2011. Recycling an old sketch, but with improvements. The weather has been having fun lately- last night feeling downright chilly and damp, waking up to rain, then a warm front pushed it away for a brilliant sunset, and finally a very pleasant evening. A wonderful creation by a more wonderful Creator.
September 18, 2011. Here's something a little different. I was processing some things rolling around in my mind the last few days, as well as experimenting with a new Lamy pen I received as a gift this summer, along with some Noodler's ink. The sketch has to do with opening my eyes and seeing those around me. How often do I spend time looking, but rarely seeing.
September 17, 2011. This is the "Art Factory," a huge warehouse in Kandern where artists of all types meet and discuss their various forms of expression. Dinners, exhibits and even wedding parties are hosted here by Rick and Marybeth, a couple who dreams of completely restoring the building and expanding its use amongst artists throughout the region and those traveling through.
September 13, 2011. I took a walk around the village of Wollbach, where I now teach, and found this field of sunflowers up on the hill. While I was teaching today, the mayor of the village came into my classroom, shook my hand, and gave me a sunflower as a gesture of welcome to the town. I have to say, it's a beautiful little village. As I walked around, I made mental notes of the various scenes that I will want to draw this year. One of my favorite things about Wollbach is that there is a seven kilometer bike path that connects it with Kandern, so I have been enjoying the ride to and from work each day.
September 12, 2011. I often think there isn't enough time in life to sit and wonder at all that I have been given. Every walk through the country, every evening spent with friends or family around a table, every beautiful song I hear is but a taste of eternity. Lord, remind me of the brevity of this gift we call life. May I never forget to thank you for each moment of joy, be it small or great.
September 10, 2011. I got up early to sketch the little train station this Saturday morning before the town of Kandern gets inundated with visitors from all over the region. Today is the first day of Budenfest, and the center of town is filled with temporary restaurants that are constructed in two days, used for the weekend, then disassembled until next year. Various clubs host booths selling everything from sugared waffles to venison, schnapps to spätzle. There is also an equestrian competition over at the clay field, and I'm sure this little train station will be offering rides for the tourists to neighboring villages through the valley.
September 3, 2011. Saturday. A wonderful day. We took our kids into the mountains and enjoyed the glory of God's great creation. In spite of some big discouragements the past few weeks, I am filled with a deep sense of peace and joy that can only come from above. This sketch was just an afterthought, a quick reflection of the day.
September 1, 2011. My colleague asked me to draw the school building where we just moved this year, so here it is. I sketched it while several students leaned over my shoulders and watched. It took me every recess and prep time to do it, but I was just glad I was able to finish it by the end of the day. My classroom is on the far left at the top. It was a beautiful day and I was thankful for it. And, by the way, I've heard there's a rule to never draw a tree right in the middle of your painting. :)