I couldn’t decide on a font, so I did everything by hand. (This is also handy for me, because if I write anything on the calendar it will look just like part of the design. The handwriting will match!)
The calendar is full of significant dates in Native American history, and holidays/ceremonies. A lot of these don’t seem to have specific dates, so they’re listed at the beginning of the month.
I’m back! Here’s a little sketch from home. (I was too busy dozing in front of that woodstove with that cat on my lap to get much done in the last few weeks, but now I’m back at it.)
Also while I was in the US I sent out a bunch of samples, and yesterday got my first encouraging reply postcard back from an American publisher!
The weather here has taken a turn for the wet-and-rainy, and the first brisk hint of autumn is rapidly giving way to the first dips below the freezing point. Pumpkins of various types have recently appeared in the stores. Being the northern hemisphere dweller that I am, it naturally gets me thinking about the holidays to come.
I got kind of ahead of myself here, it’s definitely not this wintry. I blame American culture and its penchant for advertising extremely early before every holiday.
(wax, watercolor, ink, scanned flannel shirt, trusty PowerBook.)
Happy autumnal equinox, everyone!
Though it was a beautiful day here with clear blue skies, something compelled me to start thinking about lightning.
I look at it from time to time because it’s clearly spectacular. I thought I’d give a Tucson monsoon scene a go myself, armed only with a black Prismacolor approximately 4.5 cm long. (To be fair, it was more like 5.5 cm before I started.) If the modeling looks a bit weird to you, that is because it was all my feeble brain could figure out without any visual assistance.
I didn’t even get into worrying about rain. Rain would have overloaded my processor. .
I was having trouble figuring out how exactly a night scene brightly lit by lightning would look. Since it only lasts a fraction of a second, I’ve never had the chance to note any details.
At long last, I have finished my latest painting. I reinvented it about five times over the last few days, scanning and copying and adding bits of paper collage and copying and repainting… until I finally liked the color and composition. It’s also much more detailed than the previous paintings I’ve made, because it’s much bigger, roughly A3-size.
Here’s a detail:
Here’s the original sketch… it’s a little bit different…
I made a painting today too, but I can’t seem to get it to work quite the way I want, so I’m not going to share it. Yet. This is what happens when you decide do something in a new way: the first attempt is, well… an attempt.
In the meantime, watch out for parrot fish.
I was going to do a post on a really interesting furniture/design store that I love, but it turns out they have moved to another undisclosed location. This is what I get for procrastinating. Thus I have only some photographs of the drizzly weather to offer. Entschuldigung.
Today is the sort of day in Berlin when you want to be inside with tea and a book.
Actually, I didn’t forget it. I just made it. It took about two hours. This is really one of my favorite characters around the neighborhood. It must be an older model than the others. It’s always sitting near the pedestrian bridge (on the left) which crosses the train tracks. I also like the sign there. So emphatic, but what does it mean?
Lately I’ve been noticing that when I try to paint large areas of color I start to panic, because the paint begins drying before I’m ready and it ends up all streaky. This happened on the above left background. In an effort to save it, I went at it with lots of water and some paper towel, giving it an odd, cloudy look. Anyway, I’ve realized I could probably resolve this with a larger brush, because the tiny ones I have really slow me down on the big areas. Watercolor really is all about timing, it seems…
Remember this guy?
Well… there are more!
I love them. I’m not sure why. This next one was converted to an ice cream truck:
This one is hiding behind a tree:
One of the best places to get fresh food now that the weather is warm is the Turkish market in Kreutzberg. The neighborhood of Kreutzberg lies almost directly south from where I’m living, but it was on the West side of the wall. It’s still one of the cheaper areas of Berlin, although things are gentrifying little by little. There is a canal running through the neighborhood with shady trees, plenty of space for pedestrians and street musicians, and the occasional restaurant overlooking the water. The canal is big enough for boats to pass through filled with tourists, not to mention the obligatory ducks and swans. It’s about a 30 minute bike ride from here, but well worth the effort because on Tuesdays and Fridays it transforms into the biggest market I have yet found in Berlin. Really it’s miniscule compared to what you would probably find in Turkey, but I’m not complaining!
The above picture is my Estonain pal from German class, busy buying cucumbers. Going to these markets is our new favorite activity now that we don’t have to be in class every day. The shopkeeper wouldn’t sell the cucumbers to her until she turned around for my picture.
There are great deals to be found there, especially for fruits and vegetables. It’s also one of the best places I’ve seen for fresh(ish) fish and spices. There are plenty of textile and cheap clothing stalls as well, where you can buy some of the tackiest t-shirts I have ever seen (if you feel so inclined.) It’s difficult to not buy more food than you can comfortably carry home on your bike. (Did I mention the ride home is uphill? This becomes less pleasant when carrying a watermelon, for example.)
Some shops specialize in all sorts of spreads and different types of hummus, etc., and beautiful olives. This guy was giving out samples to anyone who wanted to try something.
It all just makes me want to go to Turkey…