I just love to draw gorgeous buildings. Yes I know, it does sound strange coming from someone who regularly talks about how much I enjoy drawing an animal roaring, leaping and generally being beastly.
The thing is, buildings have a lovely contrast to the speed and kind of energy used in my drawings of living creatures. My style doesn’t change but I like the results I get when applied to a structure – giving a solid building a life and character of its own.
Painting of a person’s home. Private commission.
I like searching out the details with my pen or pencil, working with the weight of the line to add depth, finding which colours to bring out, and quite often when I’m taking time over these longer drawings, I find myself ‘in the zone’ happily spending hours drawing a building to life. This is true for when I’ve worked on private commissions for people’s homes, as well as various landmarks.
One of the buildings I’ve painted is St Mary Redcliffe in Bristol. This 4th July, Bristol Concert Orchestra – the oldest orchestra in Bristol – will be performing at St Mary Redcliffe as a venue for the first time. I’m very pleased to have my artwork displayed on their poster adverting the event at this exciting time for the orchestra.
Ok, so I’m feeling a wince at the incorrect German but for comedy effect, it’s staying. Having felt quite chuffed 10 years previously at the end of my German language G.C.S.E exam I thought a holiday would be a great way of seeing what I remembered. After a series of awkward hand gestures and fading at the 3rd syllable of incredibly long words I quickly realised my Deustch was the wurst. Fortunately for me, the friend I had gone to visit spoke German fluently and was able to help clear up my car crash of sounds. Thank you kindly Amazing Miss Alice. I had the pleasure of meeting her lovely little hamsters – Hannah and Sophie – in a previous post, you can meet them too if you follow the Amazing Miss Alice link.
If you thought my holiday in Hamburg was just a jolly, think again! We spent lots of effort on moseying, kicking back, hanging out, mooching and swinging. And drawing. Don’t forget the drawing.
My first picture of St. Marien Cathedral was a bit of a warm up, which is why it looks representative of the leaning tower of Pisa opposed to a cathedral…
Hand cramp and numb fingers told me it might be a good idea to head inside. Pew numbers and a stained glass window took my fancy –
Whilst drawing the window, I was lucky enough to be treated to the organist’s practise time. The dramatic music penetrating every bit of my head made me feel like I should have been in Mordor or something but I always manage to leave my Ring at home, dammit. I couldn’t decide whether an elf leap or a hobbit waddle was more appropriate but I made my way to a good view of the dwarfed musician.
It was truly incredible; the sound of the organ filling every corner of the cathedral, filling my head, every space as I walked to the door and into silence.
Well, the relative silence of outside. I later drew the train station Hauptbahnhof (a few stops down from Hasslehof):
And the spire of St Georgs as viewed from Hauptbahnhof:
So I went for my tour, I was quite taken with the Saint Elizabeth cathedral; I was told about a few legends and stories about the buildings here – one of my favourite being that there are monster gargoyles on the cathedral except one that is a woman. apparently the builder’s wife was an alcoholic so as punishment he immortalised her in an ugly stone carving with a bottle under her arm, cursed to be forever spewing water.
The floor is all paved here but there are sections of crazy paving which denotes where the old city walls were. There were some underground tunnels accessible to the public which I had a wander around whilst it looked like rain. It was ok, they were a bunch of tunnels. What was strange was that some awareness group had set up there too. The bigger rooms had big tv screens set up and you could press play and they would tell you about psychology conspiracy theories. They had slovak subtitles but the dvds were all American sensationalist episodes. Ugh, cue cynacism. It was everything i don’t like about American tv, I accept a lot of people like it but hey, whatever. For me, it was deep booming voice, thin on facts supported by fast montages, red overlays and scary music. For example, it spoke about how eugenics came from American psychologists; it inspired Hitlers plan on ethnic cleansing and then when it all went tits up and nazis were put on trial for war crimes all the American psychologists pinned it on their Nazi counterparts with ‘who, me?’ expressions. Now this I know and believe, but the dvd spoke about all of this and finished with ‘and now LOOK!! the tyranny continues today!’ Its like, what? you just missed several decades of information. Oh and psychology invented racism too or something. Suddenly the bland tunnels seemed more interesting.
I had a very very slow afternoon drinks session where I just people watched outside the cafe next to the musical fountains. It was such a great feeling. I don’t have to be anywhere, do anything at all. It was nice to just zone out, a luxury I never give myself back home. I always suffer from ‘the guilt’ that I should be doing something when I try and zone out, which is partly why I can never do a quiet lifestyle!
The musical fountain is kind of cool, the fountains spew water in time to the music, kind of like a water version of the Bristol balloon night glow. It’s nice at first but the novelty had kinda worn off quickly for me, it works to a sort of pan pipe muzak instrumental version of pop songs.
Have done some drawings when I can stand to be out in the scorching heat, even got some ol’ etch-a-sketch action.
Tomorrow, next country – Hungary!
Well, I’ll confess. I’m feeling a little out of sorts. It started with coming back to the hostel after my day out and my bed was missing. It was an odd feeling especially as my bed was the top bunk. For a moment I wondered if I was even in the right room. Turned out the staff had moved things around for some reason.
Also feeling out of sorts because I had a hostel in mind that I wanted to stay at in Olomouc. I heard the girls talking in the dorm next to mine that they were going to Olomouc today and they found this, oh just perfect hostel and described the one I’d been hoping to stay at. Unfortunately there were a lot of them and booked up the whole place. So to plan B. Trusty hostel bookers provided nothing but a mere shrug of a suggestion and my plan is to now ‘wing it’. I usually like to somewhat plan things so feeling out of my comfort zone… I’m sure it’ll be fine…. Right…?
So anyway, despite the developments of the past couple hours, the day preceding it was great. Got my self to the train station for a day trip to Kutna Hora. Turns out I turned up at the wrong station. I’m looking forward to when I stop having so many ‘duh’ moments and can actually get on with this adventuring thing.
At Kutna Hora there is a church decorated with bones. It was amazing, so well crafted, the bones of over 4000 people were used. did some drawing but got quite cold in the crypt. Went to the cathedral over the road, the oldest in central Europe. I got a bus into town and was gob smacked by the Church saint Barbara. I’m going to research that, not sure if I got the name right… Barbara doesn’t sound very Czech.
Anyway, Kutna Hora very pretty. It was nice to get out and about I had done a lot of walking in Prague. Particularly when I made a random single serving friend yesterday. He was nice, we talked life, love and religion and then he went on his way when he caught his train later that day. Random but nice. Not much sightseeing involved though…
Tomorrow will see what Olomouc will bring. At least I know where the train station is now.
I’ve had these on my computer for a little while, and I thought it’d be nice to share. These following images are a collection from visits into Bristol, some buildings, some statues, some little out-take sections but to me, all of them beautiful. Especially the pigeon on the Burke statue…
Bristol Cathedral, near college green
Saint Mary Redcliffe church
cold, dark and a little bit creepy, Saint John's Crypt was definitely full of atmosphere.
Statue of Burke and some other details from other buildings.
Statue of William III, in the centre of Queen's Square
A building just outside of Bristol Temple Meads train station.