Trying to Draw Wismarplatz in January


After some months of basically being locked in by the cold, rain, and snow, every day I wake up hoping that this day the sun is going to come out and allow me at least a tiny bit of sketching outside. On Friday it didn't, but I drew anyway, without taking off my gloves. That was the first drawing above. The next one is the same place very early on Saturday, this time in the bright low morning light that makes the streets glister. The last two attempts were made later that day (again the same place, just different views) - but I had to abandon the one on the left, because the water from my waterbrush was freezing on the paper and on the palette. I'm still struggling to find a satisfying way to draw trees in winter. The only ways I can think of that would do the trees justice at all just take too much time. This is how I drew Wismarplatz last May:
Monday 24 May
I love May. I think I could live with it always being May in Berlin.

Source blog.


yamashina und unsere kueche

in der pesztalozzistr. 67 entdeckte ich diesen japanischen buchladen - er verkauft auch pinselstifte und kalligrafie-papier. auch ohne dieses angebot wäre es ein beglückender fund gewesen.

das papier probierte ich an einer ecke unserer küche.

in pestallozzistr. i found this japanese bookstore, that is even selling brushpens and calligraphic paper - a great discovery anyway.

i tested paper on a corner of our kitchen

kueche 290111


Soma, some more

While I was less than impressed with Soma on my first visit, this time was different - I went along on my first Sketchcrawl as part of the Urban Sketchers network. Although my companions were underwhelmed by the installation itself, they turned out some impressive work - you can see Rolf's sketches from the day here, and Oona's here. Personally, I enjoyed the experience - in the relative quiet of a random Saturday morning (after the Christmas crush), the reindeer seemed peaceful, the canaries unobtrusive (it took me about half an hour to remember their chirping wasn't just a recording), and the piss-smell not quite as rank. I found myself really looking, noticing small things like the ear buds worn by the deer's keeper, for whom this was just another day at work. My passion for sketching reignited, I picked up pen and pad again when I visited Chipps for the umpteenth time that afternoon, and a couple of days later on the U-Bahn. Anyway, here are some drawings what I made.


hamburger bahnhof

gemeinsames zeichnen mit oona und james wg. sketchcrawl.

soma - wenn ich den booklettext richtig deute, waren wir zugleich teil eines lebenden bildes und eines doppelblindversuches der in leider nicht weiter ausgeführter art und weise eine theorie über die zusammensetzung einens in der rigveda beschriebenen halluzigenen getränkes (vielleicht rentierurin?) untersuchen sollte. dabei auch noch zu zeichnen, war natürlich sehr aufreibend, so daß wir uns nach einiger zeit im sarahwienerschen museumscafe erholen mußten.

trying to draw when beeing part of an image and experiment ("double blinded") at the same time was challenging, so we really needed rest at sarahwieners museum cafe.

sarahwiener im hamburger bahnhof 1sarahwiener im hamburger bahnhof 2

danach weiter kunst gucken, einmal else lasker-schüler-ausstellung, dann in der sammlung marx, wo ich zeuge wurde, wie das beherzte räuspern eines wächters die ängstlichen götter des schicksals rettete, indem es ein offensichtlich der ehrfurchtgebitenden natur der installation nicht bewußtes kleinkind in die arme seiner mutter jagte.

then viewing beautiful sketches by else lasker-schüler and witness the heroic rescue of the frightened gods of fortune by a guard, saying "ahaham". this chased that toddler, that was aproaching them with obvious lack of humbleness, into the arms of its mother.
elselaskergucken 220111"ahahem" was all he needed

vorm nach hause fahren noch ein stück den mauerweg hinterm hamburger bahnhof hinunter.

before travelling home, i walked some steps down the "mauerweg". cross the channel, where the old rails leading to the "hamburger bahnhof" used to run, i spotted this building.


segafredo 220111u2_220111

Sketchcrawling, SOMA and some more random sketches

Saturday's sketchcrawl took us to the SOMA exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof, where reindeer lounge about in a big hall eating fly agaric, accompanied by twenty-four canaries, eight mice and two flies, half of which are fed the urin of the reindeer eating fly agaric, so the visitors can decide if they perceive a difference in the behaviour between the sober side and the one 'on mushrooms'. It is a big and very strange set-up:
I didn't see much of a difference between the animals on either side, and I didn't see the mice at all, but drawing fly agaric is fun. Drawing the reindeer was strange, their bodies are just completely different from anything I usually sketch, and I couldn't help but pity them, as they seemed bored bordering depressed. There just wasn't anything to do for them, and not enough space to really run around either. The idea to spend a night in the bed above them and drink mushroomed piss lost every apeal: I wouldn't want to spend a night overlooking a herd of pitifully bored animals, whether tripping on some substance or not.
After that Rolf and I, the remaining sketchcrawlers, had coffee in the Hamburger Bahnhof's café, where this gentleman sat down right in my view to read the newspaper, and thus got drawn twice.

Later that day I went to a indie fashion show to try and see if there was some stylesketching to be done, looking at the crowd rather than the show. It turned out to be too dark, but sketching the night life on the train on my way was nice.

I think that curly lady is the same as the one in this sketch from a while ago.
I was too surprised this time, but should I sketch her again I think I will tell her. Looks like she was even wearing the same coat!
And some of my usual random train sketching:



freunde hatten ein ticket für eisbären gegen grizzleys über - da bin ich mitgegangen.


ich glaube, das spiel war gut (4:5), auch wenn ich nicht so viel hingeguckt habe.

friends had one ticket left for berlin eisbaeren - wolfsburg grizzleys and asked me, to join them - so i went and it was fun. 5:4 finally, i guess it was a good match, though i did not watch it to closely.


Commuters and Schlotzen & Kloben

The following pages were filled listening to the brilliant and charming writers from Schlotzen und Kloben read from their works at the Tristeza, starting on the right page (click on the images to get to the annotated version on flickr, identifying who is who):


Some more details:
IMG_0117 detail

IMG_0121 detail


IMG_0116 detail


below messedamm, berlin charlottenburg

um die kreuzung messedamm | neue kantstr | masurenallee zu überqueren, läuft man durch eine orange unterwelt. gänge von den strasseneingängen und dem icc treffen sich in der niedrigen säulenhalle. schritte hallen und im bei regen klacken nachmittags die skateboards auf den abgenutzten holzkonstruktionen, die auf dem boden herumliegen.

underneath junction messedamm | neue kantstr | masurenallee you walk through an orange underworld. corridors from street-entrances and the icc meet in a low columned hall. steps echo and on an afternoon with rain the skateboards clack on the nagged wooden structures, that are lying around.