The Jewish Quarter and Thermal Baths in Budapest

Day 82, Friday, November 15, 2019

We walk through the Old Jewish Quarter this morning.  These murals are on buildings within a block of our apartment. Many of the buildings in this neighbourhood are old and in need of repair but the murals do brighten up the neighbourhood. Bob tells me to look inside this little blue van… It is set up as a little dining room!   It is kind of cute, except I look in the front seat and it is dirty and cluttered with junk.  Not very appetizing,  There are many shops and workshops tucked into the buildings on narrow streets, sometimes even in the basements, like this bike shop.  I think my bike riding daughter will appreciate the sentiment of the sign above this door.
This is probably one of the most colourful doors I have ever seen.The buildings here have very interesting architectural details.
Seems every city we have ever been in has an Astoria Hotel! Loved the room at the top of this white building.  Imagine living there. The Holocaust Tree of Life Memorial was funded by the late American actor Tony Curtis in memory of his Hungarian-born father. The names of 30,000 Holocaust victims are engraved on the leaves of the metal tree.  The tree resembles an upside down menorah and is located on top of the mass graves of thousands of murdered Jews. The tree is located behind The Dohány Street Synagogue which is also known as the Great Synagogue.  It seats 3,000 people and is the largest synagogue in Europe and the third largest in the world.  We didn’t have time to go inside because  we want to go to a thermal bath today.One more interesting building on our way back to our apartment.  The top doesn’t seem to belong to the bottom. The Széchenyi Spa Bath in Budapest is the largest one in Europe, with 15 indoor and 3 large outdoor pools.  Its water is supplied by two thermal springs.  Here is the floorpan of this huge complex.Térkép

 We start out in this pool with a fun whirlpool-like circular ‘river’ that pushes you around it very quickly.   This pools for lane swimming, not for us today. We like this pool as it is warmer than the first one.   Inside there are fifteen more pools.  This is one of the warmer ones and the only one that has comfy lounge chairs, so we stay here for a while.  I sit beside Bob, in the corner and do some drawings of the bathers.  Budapest didn’t have any life drawing classes, or at least none that I could find, so this will do instead.   The building is magnificent but it is starting to show its age here and there.  I think it might need a renovation before too long.  This is a great place for people watching, and we do come in all shapes and sizes! By the time we go back outside it is dark, and the steam is rising from the pools.  We were thinking of taking a boat ride on the Danube tonight but we decide to stay and enjoy more time here.There are more people now than when we first arrived, and most of them are much younger than us.  We see a few other grey-haired ‘oldies’ but we are few and far between.  We spent more than five hours enjoying the baths, and we both feel nice and relaxed.

Danube River Taxi and Puppet Show in Budapest.

Day 81, Thursday, November 14, 2019

We take a river taxi this morning and finally get onto the Danube River.  There are all sorts of boats on the river…
including very long barges… river cruise ships,  and whatever this ship is.
Our taxi is quite nice, with tables and chairs on the top deck and a dining room on the main deck with white table cloths.  Not what we expected for a river taxi.  The ride is only four stops in the winter months so we also ride it back to where we started, just to spend a little more time on the river sight-seeing. There is a great view of the Buda Castle…  and an interesting row of houses on the Buda side of the river. We pass right under the Chain Bridge heading back towards the Parliament Building. The workers washing the sides of this river cruise ship waved to me when they saw I was taking pictures. The river was very calm and the sun was still low in the morning sky.  We could just make out the Liberty Statue we visited yesterday on top of the hill in the distance. We return to our stop near the Parliament Buildings and I get a great shot of this enormous building. The Budapest Parliament building is the third largest Parliament building in the world. It has 691 rooms, 20 kilometres of stairs and at 96 meters.  It is the same height as the St. Stephen’s Basilica.  We decided against visiting the interior in favour of spending our time outside.   This is our water taxi.  We saw several others but none of them looked as nice as this one.  I think we were just lucky and happened to catch the best one! The guards in front of the Parliament stand on opposite sides of this big flag pole and then every once in a while they march together round and round the flag pole.  We both think it must be quite tedious. We catch a bus back towards the Indoor Market.  I forgot to get a photo yesterday. We were looking for the ‘For Sale’ Pub, but when we walked in the waitress told us they weren’t open and refused to let me take a photo.  So here is one off of Trip Advisor.  If you have something for sale you write it on a piece of paper and stick it wherever you can.  This started before there was internet and now people pin whatever they want to the walls. There is straw and peanut shells all over the floor and candles on the tables.  Seems like an accident waiting to happen to me!

We walk from the market area back towards our apartment passing a variety of interesting buildings. Some of them were in need of restoration…
and others were well cared for. We stopped to see the University Library.  It is in an old palace, and we wandered about checking out the rooms.  This was the most interesting one, with its balcony, but I didn’t climb up to it.  The stairs were behind the librarian’s desk and I didn’t want to disturb all the people studying. Take a look at this corner…there are big bean bags for reading, or napping! We see flower boxes still in bloom in the middle of November, lots of these grey and black birds (they are Hooded Crows), interesting art work in shop windows, and this sign which translates to One Psalm.  No idea what that means.There are so many gorgeous buildings in this city…
it is easy to take too many building photos! After lunch and a rest we are back on the streets, looking for a puppet theatre.  We pass several buildings with wooden scaffolding, made with big timbers.  There are a lot of buildings that need work, and we see quite a few that are boarded up along one of Budapest’s main streets.
The puppet show is in Hungarian but we know the story and thought it would be a fun things to see.  The theatre was full of school kids who really enjoyed the show.  We did too.  Here are some fo the cast taking a bow at the end of the play… and some of the displays in the lobby. I did some drawing during the play.  These drawings were done in the dark so I couldn’t see what I had drawn until the lights came on.  Can you figure out what the play was?  There is a pretty big clue in my drawings.

I peek into this book store as we walk home after the play. I love book stores that look like this!These photographs were on the wall outside the House of Terror Museum. According ot Wikipedia “It contains exhibits related to the fascist and communist regimes in 20th-century Hungary and is also a memorial to the victims of these regimes, including those detained, interrogated, tortured or killed in the building.”   We pass this rather odd couple on our walk home, not far from the House of Terror.

The Leopold Museum, Vienna

Day 74, Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Leopold Museum has the largest collection of Egon Schiele’s work in Vienna as well as several of Gustav Klimt’s works.

Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter. His work is noted for its intensity and its raw sexuality.  Schiele completed many self portraits, including naked self portraits.  I  am intrigued by Shiele’s drawings and was looking forward to seeing his work.  Unfortunately exhibited works on paper are facsimiles, because the actual drawings and watercolours would be damaged by continual exhibit.  They are very good facsimiles, but not the real thing.  It would be nice to look closely at some of his original drawings and watercolour paintings.  I guess I will have to hope to one day visit a special Schiele exhibit, similar to the Dürer one I saw yesterday, in order to see his original work.
 ‘Chrysanthmemen’ was a painting I hadn’t seen before.
Two of Schiele’s naked self-portraits. the first is an oil and the second gouache and black chalk on paper, so it is a facsimile.  These are both larger than I had thought.  The oil painting is 1.5 m x1.5 m and the gouache 63 x 44 cm.
I have decided that I like Schiele’s figurative watercolours and drawings more than his figurative oils.  
The commentary for ‘Small Tree in Autumn’ says that the trunk and branch on the right look like human legs, while the branches of the treetop resemble arms.  I never saw that before and now it is all I can see!  I even see a head just below the arms.  
These two long narrow oils are not what I think of as typical Schiele paintings but I like both of them.

‘Mother and Child’ is a well known painting.  I do love how expressive Schiele’s hands are. Schiele’s 1912 ‘Self Portrait with Chinese Lanterns’ was painted as a companion piece for the ‘Portrait of Wally Neuzil’ who was his muse and partner from 1911 to 1915.  Both these paintings have a gentleness and sensitivity not found in all his work.  I like these very much. Quite different from this self portrait completed the same year.  Schiele was born in 1890 and died in 1918.  He was only 28 years old when he died, yet he created over 3,000 works on paper and around 300 paintings!  I wonder what he would have accomplished if he had lived longer.  He died during the Spanish Flu Epidemic, just three days after his six month pregnant wife Edith. ‘Reclining Woman’ was bigger than I expected.  Originally the woman’s genitals were exposed but Schiele added the white cloth covering in order to be able to show the work at an exhibition in Vienna in 1918. There are several landscapes, and most of them are quite large. ‘The Small Town IV’… and ‘House With Shingled Roof’ were two that I particularly liked.  Although Schiele only painted for such a short time, his work laid the foundations for the Viennese Expressionist movement as well as inspiring other future movements, such as Abstract Impressionism.

There is a small collection of Gustav Klimt’s work. Klimt (1862-1918), was Schiele’s mentor, so it is nice to see their work exhibited together.  This ‘Head Study of a Girl from Hanā’ is thought to have been completed while Klimt was still a student.

‘The Blind Man’ was first exhibited in 1898. ‘Death and Life’ won the Gold Medal at the 1911 International Art Exhibition in Rome.  This painting and ‘The Kiss’, that I saw at the Belvedere,  are two of Klimt’s most well known paintings. I feel very fortunate to have seen both of them in person, as well as all the other amazing works of art I have seen on this trip. As we are leaving the Leopold I notice this painting, which makes both of us laugh!  It is by Albert Birkle and is titled ‘Man with Fur Cap’, or ‘My Brother the Animal’! Near the metro station Bob notices this crane which has just been erected.  Neither of us have seen one with so many arms before.When I saw this building our first day in Vienna I thought it was the Hundertwasser House but it wasn’t.  Turns out that it was designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser!  It is the Spittelau Incinerator which is used to handle Vienna’s garbage.  The environmentally friendly plant produces enough energy to heat more than 60,000 households in Vienna in a year.I have one more life drawing session tonight at Kaffeebar Quentin.  I have attended many life drawing sessions in bars or pubs and the model is always at least partially clothed, so I was quite surprised when our model is completely nude.  We are in the back of the bar, but the model is still in full view of all the other patrons as well as anyone who happens to look in the windows.  Wish I had a scanner, as it would improve the quality of these photos, but I don’t think I can haul one around on holidays!  These are all 5 minute poses. Two ten minute and one twenty minute drawing… and we finished the evening with a twenty-five minute pose.  The people at this session were very friendly and I had met some of them at the other two sessions this week.  I will miss Vienna, they have so many life drawing opportunities.  There is a session almost every day of the week, and lots of them have interesting themes.  

Spanish Riding School and the State Hall National Library, Vienna

Day 73, Wednesday, November 6, 2019

This morning we went to see the Lipizzaner stallions, but not a performance.  We went to the morning training session instead. We got to sit in the 96 euro seats for two hours and watch the horses train and it only cost us 9.5 euros each!   It was great and we both enjoyed it. We found out that to get those 96 euro seats we should have reserved months in advance!  We sat about half way down the side of the arena.No photos are allowed and I was very good and didn’t try to sneak any!  It would have been so nice to have a few photos though.  These two photos were taken from posters advertising the performances.  The stallions are gorgeous!  I did a bit of sketching during the training and that was OK but it was hard to draw and watch what was going on a the same time.  After a bit I decided to just enjoy watching the training session and forget about drawing.

It is unusual to see any of the jumps that are performed in the performances during a training session.  We were very lucky, we saw two different horses perform the capriole!  The first stallion was experienced and he did three caprioles.  This is where the horse jumps straight up into the air, kicks out with the hind legs, and lands more or less on all four legs at the same time. It is a very difficult jump. The second stallion was young and still in training. He managed to get his forelegs up in the jump but the hind legs didn’t quite make it, but he tried three times as well.  We also saw the piaffe, the dance like trotting on the spot and several other of the special dressage movements.

The training session was two hours long.  Four half hour sessions with different horses for each session.  It went by very quickly and Bob said he enjoyed it too, even though he doesn’t love horses near as much as I do! Next stop is the State Hall of the National Library.  It is so amazing!  It is hard to describe such a magnificent place.  The pictures probably do a better job, so here they are.  This is our view when we enter the library.  We both just stop and stare!  This library is nearly 60 metres long and 20 metres high and contains over 200,000 books! One of the first things we see are these ‘secret’ doors the open into rooms with even more books. The cases Bob is standing by held illuminated manuscripts.  I would have loved to be able to climb one of these ladders and pull a book or two off the shelves.
These are from 1400 and 1260!The globes have been in this spot since the mid 1700’s. This statue is in the central oval of the library beneath a painted domed ceiling.

Here is a view looking up at the ceiling…and a wide angled view of the central area.
We sit for a while just absorbing the atmosphere. Looking towards the entrance from where I was sitting… and towards the back of the library. The second level is just as ornately decorated as the first.  I wish we could have gone there as well, but it was not to be. One last photo before we leave.  Here is a short video I made of the inside of the library. When we leave the library we pass the Lipizzaner stables.I zoom in on these two beauties.
We stop at the Minoritenkirche because Bob says it has a mosaic life size replica of The Last Supper.It appears to be painted on tiled panels rather than being a mosaic made with many small tiles.
We didn’t get to see The Last Supper when we were in Italy.  We didn’t know we had to get tickets far in advance, so I guess this is the next best thing.We walk towards the metro through a bit of a park…
where there are lots of people sitting enjoying the sunshine. I was surprised there were so many yellow roses in bloom so late in the year.  Do you notice all the little white signs in the background?  This is a memorial garden and each rose is planted in memory of a person who has passed away. It is a beautiful sunny afternoon.  Warm for November, but we still need our coats. We stop at the Naschmarkt for something to eat.  This roast pig is for sale by the piece, starting at the back end.  Interesting but we decide on something a bit less exotic.I love this huge art nouveau pot supported by four turtles.  Wish I had one like this at home!

We have a bit of time at home before I go to for another life drawing session at a pub called The Roo Bar.  Here are a 5 minute, two 10 minute and a 20 minute drawing. A ten and twenty minute pose. I think I liked these two 5 minute drawings the best.  It was a good night. 

Dürer Exhibit at the Albertina Museum, Vienna

Day 72, Tuesday, November 5, 2019

I have been looking forward to visiting this Dürer Exhibit.  I only found out about it in Munich at a drawing Meetup.  This exhibition is the most comprehensive Dürer exhibition  in decades.  It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

It is raining today so it is a good day to spend inside. We purchased our tickets online so no waiting in the lineup!Before we see the Dürer exhibit we visit the other parts of the museum.  There are 20 decorated and restored Habsburg State Rooms with precious wall coverings, chandeliers, fireplaces and stoves, inlaid floors, and exquisite furniture. We pass through these fairly quickly, we have seen quite a few of these kinds of rooms on this trip and I am more interested in the Dürer exhibit.  The floors are beautiful with inlaid wood designs.  We notice that the floors we walk on are actually reproductions placed over the original floors in order to preserve them.  If you look closely you can just make out the seam lines of these rectangular reproduction tiles.

The chandeliers in this room were very beautiful. The most interesting thing in these rooms was the art exhibit on the walls.  We have a print of this Hieronymus Bosch drawing at home.  Unfortunately the drawings and prints are facsimiles.  Very good ones, but facsimiles non-the-less.  This is necessary as works on paper are fragile and can not be displayed for long periods of time. 

There are so many works that I am familiar with and some, like the Munch woodcut that are new to me.  These are: Munch’s The Kiss IV, two Schiele watercolours, Rembrandt’s Elephant, and Rubens’ drawing of his son Nicolas.
Now on to the main event!

It has been decades since so many works by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) have been seen in one place.  There are more than 200 examples of Dürer’s drawings, printed graphics, and paintings on display at the Albertina.

This ‘Self Portrait at the Age of Thirteen’ from 1484 is the first work that I see when we enter the exhibition rooms. I took so many photos but have chosen just a few of my favourite ones for today’s post. Here is ‘Three Studies of Dürer’s Left Hand’ 1493/94.  I like drawing hands and feet and there is much to learn from Dürer. This page of studies was so interesting.   Here is another drawing I have seen so often in books.
‘The Woman’s Bath’ is a pen and ink drawing… and this ‘Illustration for the Apocalypse’ is a woodcut.  Dürer was a master of all mediums. Dürer’s watercolours are exquisite.  This painting is simply titled ‘Iris’. A watercolour study of a ‘Blue Rolle’r from 1500.We enter another room and there on the far wall are three famous works.  Dürer’s ‘Young Hare’ is only exhibited once every five years for a period of no more than three months.  It is just luck that it is on exhibit while we are here.  This is another print that we have at home.  Bob wishes it was the original!! ‘The Great Piece of Turf’ was painted on the largest piece of paper available at the time to portray the plants life sized. ‘The Wing of a Blue Roller’ is quite amazing.  This work is watercolour and body colour on parchment with fine gold lines on the breast plumage to enhance the iridescence of the feathers.  There is no one telling visitors to keep a certain distance from the works, so my nose gets up very close! I liked the study of a bull’s nose too… and this ‘Columbine”… and this page of studies.   OK. I love pretty much everything I see here!  This head of an angel and head of twelve year old Jesus are studies for a larger painting … as is this hand study.  It is fascinating to see the studies and then the finished painting. ‘The Praying Hands’ is a well known Dürer image. I really didn’t know much about Dürer’s oil paintings.  I particularly loved this one.  The Madonna’s face is so beautiful.
Dürer drawing and woodcut of a rhino were made without his ever having seen a rhinoceros!  He drew from a written description of the animal and his imagination. I have always loved this ‘Portrait of a 93 Year Old Man’.  I didn’t know it was done with a brush!   As we are leaving the museum I see this Modigliani painting ‘Prostitute’.  I have always liked Modigliani’s work but haven’t really see very many in person.   One last photo at the Albertina.  Seems I want to sprout wings this trip! We spent four hours here today and I could easily have spent much more time here but this will have to do.  I bought the catalogue for the exhibit.  It is huge, and weighs 6.6 pounds!  Good thing we are near the end of our trip!

I have a Life Drawing Meetup session at 7:00 pm and want to have a bit of a rest before that.  I just realized that I posted tonight’s life drawing photos in yesterday’s blog by mistake!  After being on holidays for so long it is easy to mix up the days.

Belvedere Museum and St. Charles Church, Vienna

Day 71, Monday, November 4, 2019

I visit the Belvedere Art Museum this morning while Bob goes for walk and explores the area around the museum.  The Belvedere, like so many of the museums we have visited was once a palace.  This is the grand entrance staircase… and the beautiful Marble Hall. I particularly wanted to see Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, but was pleased to find his Judith painting here as well.The Kiss is one of Klimt’s most well known paintings.  It is a large painting, 183 x183 cm. It is nice to be able to see the painting details up close. I am also surprised by how many Egon Schiele paintings are on display.  It is quite special to be able to see the original paintings of some of my favourite works by these two painters.  I didn’t realize that these paintings were so large.  Looking at reproductions in books can be deceiving.  The Embrace and….  the Family are both much bigger than I imagined… as are these paintings. Schiele’s Self Portrait is the smallest painting, about 41 x 33 cm. I didn’t know Jacques-Louis David’s painting of Napoleon was here either.  I am so glad I was able to visit this museum.  This painting is enormous, 272 × 232 cm!This painting shows the Vienna Naschmarkt in 1894.  It has changed a bit over the years! We meet up in the gardens outside the Belvedere and then walk towards St. Charles Church.  There are so many interesting buildings along the way.
We had a huge surprise when we entered St. Charles Church.  Two enormous floating mirrored balls that reflected the church… and us.  We are almost in the centre of the reflection but we are very tiny.  “Aerocene” is a contemporary art installation by Tomas Saraceno, an Argentinian artist who lives and works in Berlin.  The floating reflective balls are 10 and 7 metres in diameter. Then we notice the scaffolding that goes high up into the dome, and that is where we are going to go!  We thought the elevator ride we got a ticket for would be inside a bell tower.  Nope!  We ride to the top of this scaffolding and then climb a bit further, onto that platform you see leading into one of the round windows in the dome! Looking down from the top of this ‘elevator’ we notice a workman adjusting lights high up in the dome, yet still far below us! We have a great view of the dome paintings.  It is interesting the way the gold highlights look up this close… and we have a great view of the other dome paintings.  We are crazy high up!Bob walks back down to this viewing platform so I can get a photo.  Notice how he is suspended…nothing below him!This photo shows the platform that Bob was standing on in the last photo.
We spent quite a lot of time way up there in the dome, and it is getting dark when we get outside.  If you look closely you can see some people standing in the round window on the dome.  That is the window we were standing in!  What an amazing experience.  There was restoration work carried out in the dome and the elevator is being kept for a while.  The fee to ride up into the dome is a way to make more money for further restorations. Walking back towards the metro we pass the Opera House… and take photos of these performers from Tibet.  They have a performance later tonight and were taking publicity photos outside the Opera House. While the men posed, some of the women were busy applying their makeup.   This is a a huge paper art installation we pass in a walkway near the metro. A close-up shows lots and lots of writing, musical notations and random marks. We get home, have dinner, then I head off to a drop-in drawing session with a Meetup group at a pub called Monami.

It was bit hard drawing the model as there were 40 people crammed into a small room.  I had coloured some of the pages in my sketchbook at home before the session.  Interesting to draw on but they don’t photograph very well. We were pretty much rubbing elbows as we drew and my views weren’t always great but it was lots of fun.
I finished the session with a 20 minute leg study.  I felt quite comfortable going out in the evening by myself.  The metro is easy to navigate and there were lots of people about.

Munich, Germany to Vienna, Austria

Day 66, Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Here are the last of my Munich metro drawings.   I liked this one of the young man with the bandaged nose. Our drive to Vienna was long and uneventful.  We stayed on the freeway and it still took us about 5 1/2 hours.  We had to wait about an hour for our Airbnb host to meet us, but we found a parking space just outside the apartment and our car was warm, so it wasn’t too bad.  It took forever to figure out how to pay for street parking but we finally sorted it out.  We take our rental car back tomorrow so we just need parking for one night.

Our Airbnb apartment looks OK and it is really close to the Underground metro so that is going to be handy.

The Nymphenburg Palace, Munich and Life Drawing

Day 60, Thursday, October 24, 2019

Nymphenburg Palace is one of the largest royal palaces in Europe.  It sits on 490 acres of gardens and park land.  This arial view was found online.  The façade of the palace is almost 700 metres long!This central four-storey building was the beginning of the palace and was built in 1644.  Over the years numerous additions were built until it reached its present configuration in 1776. The Nymphenburg Palace was originally a summer residence for the Bavarian rulers.  This is the Great Hall.  Musicians would entertain guests from the gallery.
One of the many rooms with original furnishings. Many of the rooms are not that big and seem to serve as connecting passages to other larger rooms.The south apartment bedroom of the Electress, who was the consort of the king. Our reflection in the bedroom mirror. Every palace has to have a Chinese inspired room. The audience room of Queen Caroline… and her bedroom have their original furnishings.  This room is where King Ludwig II was born in 1845.  The bed is hidden by a cover on a high frame which was spread over the bed during the daytime. The official Hall of Beauties is under restoration but the paintings are on display in a corridor. From 1826 to 1850 King Ludwig I had a series of 36 portraits painted of what he considered to be the most beautiful women.  Beauty was considered to be an outward sign of moral perfection! We finish our tour of the palace rooms, and go explore the grounds.  Unfortunately we realize that the park pavilions closed for the season a week ago.  I do manage a peek inside the Magdalene Hermitage, which was a pavilion used for contemplation. Much of the grounds are in the style of an English park, with paths… and little bridges over water features. This creek was so covered with fallen leaves that the water was barely visible.This shows just how long the canal water feature is…looking towards and away from the palace on a bridge that crosses the canal.  At one time gondolas sailedd these waters.  Neat reflections too.
Walking back towards the palace along a tree lined path. I liked the reflection of the palace in the water. Looking out towards the garden from the Palace steps. It is almost closing time, but we manage a quick peek inside the Carriage museum, which is one of the most important museums of court carriages, travel and equestrian culture in the world. The Coronation coach of Emperor Karl VII is here…

along with numerous over-the-top elaborate coaches built for King Ludwig II. We can only begin to imagine how much these coaches cost! Besides dozens of coaches there are numerous sleighs on display. Parades and competitive games with these carousel sleighs were a popular winter amusement at court.  Women would sit in front of a male driver and try to hit rings or paper maché figures with a lance or sword.  Notice the rear view of the sleigh in the mirror. Just a few of the many coaches on display in one of the halls. One last selfie before we leave. and one last look back towards the front of the Palace…
with a photo stop at the swans. I have life drawing tonight, so we head toward the metro and after checking out my route, Bob heads for home and I head towards my drawing session.  I have a bit of time so I sit at the Sheraton Hotel having a cup of tea and doing a bit of sketching.

My sketches from the bus this morning weren’t terribly successful; I was having difficulty getting proportions down accurately.  That happens some days… These were a bit better. Sketches from the Sheraton Hotel. My first drawing at the Meetup session.  Still having some issues with proportions and the head placement in relation to the body. I started again after our break and did this portrait which was better.  Bettina, our model, really liked it and said that it looked like her.    

I managed to make two wrong turns on the way home, but retraced my steps and finally got back home near 11:00.  Bob met me at the bus stop which was really nice.  It was a good but very long day.

Life Drawing in Munich

Day 53, Thursday, October 17, 2019

I had a relaxing day at our Munich Airbnb and Bob spent the better part of the day sorting out the transit system and where to get tickets.   I went to life drawing in the evening.  The session was at an artist’s apartment, which was really more of a studio than an apartment.  Everyone was very nice and made me feel very welcome.

Here are some photos that were posted on the Meetup page for the session.  Maurice is the artist who hosted the event.  That is him in the centre of the photo.
Here is our model, Bettina, she is very pregnant.  How wonderful!  It has been ages since I have had the chance to draw a pregnant model so this was an unexpected bonus. The drawing on the left is mine. I did a couple sketches to warm up. Then spent about two hours working on this drawing. Bob came to pick me up after the session and on the metro ride home I did a bit more sketching.
This was interesting, the older man with the facial hair was sitting right across the aisle from me and he was only on the metro for one stop so I sketched quickly hoped he didn’t notice that I was sneaking peeks at him. The young man with glasses did notice I was drawing him and he smiled at me, I smiled back and he tried not to smile as I continued sketching.  As he got up to leave I showed him the sketch and he said something in German, then he smiled and said ciao, so I think he liked it.

 

Day 54, Friday, October 18, 2019

We both had a relaxing quiet day.  It is nice to have some down time after seven weeks of holidays.  The big event of the day was going for a little walk to get some groceries.

Salzburg, Austria

Day 46, Thursday, October 10, 2019

Today was a quiet day.  Bob went for a walk to check out the transit system and neighbourhood and I worked on my blog, caught up on some emails and took it easy.  The big excursion for the day was going for a few groceries before dinner.

Day 47, Friday, October 11, 2019

Walking to the bus I notice many houses have very attractive front entries. We can see Hohensalzburg Fortress high on the hill above Salzburg.  Tour guide Bob informs me we will visit there on Tuesday. We can see beautiful green alpine meadows in the hills above Salzburg. We pass dairy cows right in town just a couple blocks from the train and bus station.  The advertisement above the cows gave me a chuckle.  We pop into a downtown church when we get off the bus.  It looks like a community church from the outside, with big cheery murals on either side of the door.  The inside is much less ornate than many of the churches we have visited and there is lots of information on community programs and events.  Nice to see. We stop at some  food stands selling wine and beer, and have a bit to eat.  These giant doughnuts look interesting but we pass.  They are as big as small plates! The gardens around the Mirabell Palace are beautiful.  In the movie ‘The Sound of Music’ Maria and the children dance around this Pegasus fountain and sing ‘Do Re Mi’. The grass contains elaborate knot patterns decorated with flowers.  These are freshly planted pansies, hundred of dozens of them! The Zwergerigarten is a surprise.  It is the oldest ‘Dwarf Garden’ in Europe and was built in 1695.  Yes, a Dwarf Garden!  We had no idea there was such a thing.    This fellow insisted on trying on Bob’s baseball cap! The collection of 28 marble dwarf sculptures was sold at auction in 1811.  17 of the sculptures have been recovered and put back into the park in their original positions.   Here are some of these curious sculptures. We have tea and cookies in the garden and then I draw for a while. I used a new brush pen that I got just before we left for holidays.  I think it is going to take a while to get used to.  I used a water brush to create value with the water based ink in the pen.

I sketched the mountain this morning waiting for the bus.  Drawing these dwarves I was starting to get a feel for how to use this pen.  A water brush and white crayon were used to add some value.Walking through the garden there are some more knot designs created with flowers in the grass. There is a small Orangerie…with some goldfish, a turtle and a few birds. Looking back towards the Mirabelle Palace. The two towers in the background belong to the church we visited earlier. These young girls were enjoying the Pegasus Fountain, and I enjoyed watching them. There seems to be several unicorns here in Salzburg. I have time for a quick sketch of a beautiful enormous tree while waiting for Bob. There are a lot of big trees here. We have never seen a giraffe quite like this before! We walk along the river heading towards the Old Town. The Old Town and the Castle on the hill make a striking view.
People are out enjoying the warm weather. This is the house that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived in with his family until he moved to Vienna in 1781. His family occupied the entire top floor.  We were looking for a free film and somehow ended up in the museum instead, so we had a quick look around. This street was the inspiration for the song ‘Silent Night’.  It is a long street so no idea exactly where this inspiration transpired.
This door had interesting marks scratched on it that looks very old.Here is the entrance to the “Silent Night’ street.
As we explore some of the side streets, we pass this ‘House of Pleasure’, and yes, it seems to be that kind of pleasure! We also see some graffiti that I quite like.  Note how the little ledge is incorporated into the image.  Very clever!This little sidewalk fountain had red roses stuck in small holes in the paving.  I wonder why? We check out the Marionette Theatre, but unfortunately there are no performances while we are here. While we wait for the bus home I notice an empty store front where someone has written on the glass windows with a black felt pen.  It is an interesting different sort of graffiti.