22.10.: being a beginner again, aquarelle flow, a really huge page, and a 7 daychallenge

The theme of last week – which was the second week as guest student at the art academy – was: getting my feet wet, and moving into a first flow.

The October sun was welcoming, and framed almost each day with its touch of lightness. So the photo above is kind of symbolic for the week: standing at the edge of light and water. And then taking the next step. Like in the painting course. The first week was about getting to the know our tutor, and getting an idea of the upcoming themes and lessons, and the material we need, like: aquarelle colors and paper etc.

And now, we painted. starting with the basics. Which were mostly new for most of us, even though, like me, too, many of us have painted before, in experimental acryl or even in oil landscapes.

So here’s my first aquarelle sketch – probably partly inspired by the river and the light of these days:

From the first exercises, we moved to: vegetables. The traditional starting objects.

At some point, a group formed around a table with our tutor, as he looked at work, and made a sample painting. He also gave a good advise:

„Keep your aquarelle colors in the kitchen, and try a sketch every day,
just 5 minutes.“


So that’s what I am doing now. And indeed start to feel a bit more confident with each painting. The aubergine is from day 2, and the mushroom is from day 4 – it’s all learning how to trust the lightness of the color, the way it shapes out when trying. 


It was such good advice, to try a sketch each day, to get into the flow. Our bodies learn in their own subconscious ways.


From painting to photography:

Different medium, but a similar constellation. With the rise of digital photography, there is an abundance of photo created each day. But the technical aspect, the way the camera – or we – can work with light when taking a photo – is more and more moved into the background.

The photo course I am taking is both about visiting the work of photographers, but also learning the technical basics of photography. This time, we took a quick trip into the past, with a large format camera, which shows how cameras work . It takes photos directly on a plate, and simply shows the
„upside-down“-image when you look through it, and leads back to the first cameras, the camera obscura.

There is a good photography-series, recommended for the course: „BBC -Genius of photography“. It’s
online here: „BBC -Genius of photography“ are archive.org.


From photography to drawing:

Inspired by the sketchbook / drawingbooks of some of the others, and by #inktober, I did a series of daily ink sketches, that was before moving to aquarelle. Here’s one of them:

I also visited a drawing class just to get an idea of it. I
had expected that we make sketches, and brought my drawing block, which is
DinA3, and feels „big“ for me. But this season, the course is about large formats.

The tutor brought several art books, showed us works of artists, some small, some larger.
And then we went to drawing. „I want you to dive into the large format, to
really try to use this dimension“, he explained.

felt my inner hesitation, and then just thought: „okay, let’s play“.
And picked up an approach of my recent ink sketches, to draw in curved shapes. After the drawing time, we all walked around looking at the works –
it’s really a good workshop atmosphere, open and inspiring, with a good vibe. 
A day later, I tried a new version of one of my digital color paintings, and then had to smile: the „overlap“ patterns of the ink sketches, they probably started there.


Black/White Sevendayschallenge 

To have a contrast to all the color, and a challenge for photography – and as I keep coming across it – I now joined the black/white #sevendayschallenge:

„Seven days, no people, no explanation“

Here’s my first photo. I noticed it when looking through images – it actually is a color image, but is almost entirely black/white. I will post on my instagram page, which currently is a fun mix of photography, aquarelle, skies… a good mix.


Upcoming + Lessons in learning to look

Looking forward to the next days. I even looked forward to this Monday. It’s a good feeling: to be excited about the things that are upcoming. Like a smaller group trip in the middle of the week, and a daytrip to a photo exhbition on Saturday (we go here: Photo Biennale für Aktuelle Fotografie)

Of course, the week had highlights beyond the art academy classes, too – but right now, the impulses from there feel formative for the season – not so much the single moments and themes, but the way they connect and open up new perspectives.

I am still taking my morning sky photos, though 🙂

Altogether, I would say that the time there, it’s about learning to look in a different way – to take a closer look, to try different perspectives. And there is a multi-layered feeling, I tried to catch it in 6 words:

„The joy of newness, of beginning.“


I already look forward to the upcoming days.

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