I do really enjoy strolling around in a city and discover the places with a sketchbook.
Originally I wanted to visit Westminster Abbey but when I arrived it was already closed. Since it started to rain I took shelter in the next church close by, St. Margarets. When I approached the altar I realised that in this very church the book of condolences for Margaret Thatcher were on display.
So I started to sketch the people when I was approached by a security guard:
»Are you sketching?«
»Yes, something wrong?«
»No everything is a.ok. I am just always fascinated by people who sketch and capture a moment with a pen. May I see it, when you‹re finished?«
In the end we have a really nice conversation about sketching and about body language. Some people we observe seem to be really touched, some look just out of pure curiousity and others obviously write funny comments in the books, because they start to giggle.
Last year we had the idea to do a small video about my work and paintings. Sounds good but it is not as easy as you might think. After we went to the Northfrisian islands last autumn, we went yesterday to my hometown Hamburg. It was freezing cold with 15,8 Fahrenheit and the strong east wind didn’t help either. Besides my feet my brain seemed to be deep-freezing. What this looks like you can see in the following video with some outtakes. In the end of February the final video will be ready and we plan to synchronize it to English.
Afterwards we went to a nice bar where we defrosted and did a sketch of one of the docks.
During my last trip to the Frisian islands at the coast of North Germany I rediscovered the combination of pencil/gouache sketches. These are primarily for exploring the shapes of clouds and different formats. Unfortunately after drying the values had always changed but these sketches are more about playing anyway.
At the museums harbor Oevelgönne old and new can be seen from the same angle. In the foreground the old sailing ships are waiting for the next trip while on the other side of the river big container ships are unloaded.
To sketch my environment has brought an aspect in my life which I had never taken into account in the beginning: To meet the people who live there. Of course they are curious what I do and often like to have a look at my sketch. In the past I wasn’t so keen to show my sketches because in my eyes they weren’t good enough. But these people don’t care about perfection. They are interested in how I see their world through my eyes and very often enjoy details or motives I have taken on.
On Madeira we stayed in Arco da Calheta, a small village which is still affected by the traditional way of farming. We couldn’t really communicate with each other by I could tell by there looks that they liked my sketches.
On one evening an older couple approached me and to my surprise they were German. They had bought an old house and after looking at my sketches we were invited over. It was such a charming evening, sitting in the shadow of wine fruits, listening to all the stories this house could tell.
Had I just taken a photo, well, I would not have met all those lovely people on Madeira.
I am fascinated by the light conditions of the countryside, particularly in Northern Germany. I grew up in Hamburg so I am used to the rugged countryside and sometimes bleak weather and light conditions. The light in northern country landscapes is very special and it is indescribably beautiful. It touches my soul and opens up my heart when I visit the coast and feel the elemental force of the sea.
As opposed to my seascapes, I am very interested in the closely cropped views of the harbor and its endless diversity of shapes and colors.
With pastel painting l have found the ideal medium to artistically and creatively transform these special conditions of illumination. I love to spread pigment on paper without anything else in between.
Pastel paintings come alive when you put different layers of colour on the canvas. This is a great artistic stimulus for me. Which combination of colour pigments can be used to achieve precisely the effect of light and shade that I want? During the artistic process, layers of colour are continually built up and removed until the light situation has been captured and the picture can unfold its unique illuminating power.