Watermill in Westfalen

As flat as Münsterland is, the area around Nottuln is wonderfully hilly. The Stevern flows through this area and provided power for this gristmill. 
   This piece was a challenge to do because of the perspective. While the buildings themselves were properly square (as in square and plumb), the channelized river was anything but square, making the linear perspective fun! The subtle value shifts on the mill, especially with the planes of the roof, contrasted to those of the walls, were difficult to deal with in a fifteen minute sketch like this.

Forget Paris! I'll Take Berlin Anytime!

Berlin has become an even more incredible city since the wall came down and the capitol was relocated there from Bonn. I love the cultural layers of Berlin, its various quarters, the sights, the restaurants. 
     This quick sketch was on the Spree River looking toward the cathedral. It was interesting to me how its domes mimicked the tops of the trees, the broad arc of the bridge and even the shape of the boat in the lower right.

The Rural Coast

There was something about this ramshackle outbuilding in Apalachicola that spoke to me. It was still in use, though nothing about it was squared up. The bare trees and electrical wires provided spindly contrasts to the skewed planes of the building. 

Barbecue Aside...

I think that the only thing New Riegel, Ohio, is truly known for is its barbecue. (And if you haven't eaten it, it is really worth the trip!) I grew up near New Riegel and it was always a treat when Dad brought home carryout for dinner (though this never happened on a Saturday evening because we didn't dare to go to Mass Sunday morning with garlic breath). 
   The land that All Saints is on was donated to the Church by Landolin Brosmer, a German immigrant who helped settle the area. The uncanny personal fact about this is that Herr Brosmer is a distant relative of my wife (whose entire family is still in Germany)! The world is, indeed, small!
   I enjoyed the value contrast of the headstones against the dark row of pines, and the contrast of the architectural forms with the organic shapes. 

Still Exotic to This Yankee

I have been in Savannah for eleven years now and palm trees still seem exotic, if not downright strange. When I walk Winslow in the woods it's easy to imagine that we're tromping through a jungle because, instead of spruces and birches, the woods here are full of palms!
     I did this sketch on Cockspur Island. The artistic challenge for me was to try and capture the intensity of the midday light in black and white, striving for a subtropical look with none of the color so strongly associated with scenes like this.

Work in progress




I don't normally do extensive demos in my watercolor classes; this is an exception and I'm having a lot of fun doing it! Tempus fugit!

Bad Hair Day

I know where I get my unmanageable hair from!

Lorenzo Roath was my 4th-great-grandfather. Orphaned at age six in 1817, he went on to become, first, a postal worker, delivering mail on horseback between Lexington and Salem, Ohio; he then studied law, passed the bar, and defended those with even worse hairstyles than his. He fathered twelve children before kicking the bucket in 1897.

"Lud-in-the-Mist"


I'm just finishing Hope Mirrlees's Lud-in-the-Mist, and I'm entirely enchanted by it! It's full of wisdom and humor. And I wonder how I got to be in my 50s without ever having heard of it, much less read it.

This is another pen-and-ink sketch, about 4 x 8".