As with so many of my Facebook friends, Birgit and I met online when we both joined Jane Lafazio’s online class alumni group.
Birgit became an inspiration to me as she documented her surroundings in her wonderful watercolour and ink sketches. She sketches scenes from her own town and from her travels. Enjoy her awesome artwork in today’s post.
Please contact me if you are interested in being featured as a guest artist.
My name is Birgit and I live with my husband and our cat Nelly, in the middle of Germany, in Thuringia.
Documenting Thuringia, my home region
My home is in Thuringia better known as the “Green heart of Germany”. Once a part of the former German Democratic Republic, this area has a lot of forests and water, and beautiful historical towns like Gera, Jena, Weimar, Erfurt, Gotha and Eisenach. These towns are well known for famous historical people.
For example, Martin Luther translated the Bible from Latin to German at the Wartburg in Eisenach and poets Goethe and Schiller lived in Weimar.
Gotha is the “ cradle” of the European nobility, and in Gera, the famous painter Otto Dix was born.
And last but not least, we have the town Jena with Carl Zeiss, the father of lenses in our cameras, microscopes and so on.
In addition to all of these famous people, this region has many wonderful historical buildings, churches, castles, theatres, museums, and the homes of celebrated persons.
Besides the cultural life, we have beautiful nature here in Thuringia. As a painter, every day one can find a lot of inspiration simply from walking and hiking through the woods.
Life before watercolours
Some years ago I finished my working life as a commercial engineer. At that time, I found a beautiful alternative to my working life in creative projects.
I started with patchwork and hand quilting. Later, I did free embroidery, some bookbinding, lettering, art journaling, and other mixed media activities.
To everything there is a beginning…
In 2015 I began to paint with watercolors.
That year, a new door was opened for me with American artist Jane Lafazio’s expert guidance.
Since then, I have been drawing and painting in my free time. My subjects come from nature, our flower garden, our region, or from memories of our vacations.
My immediate environment is often inspiration for my daily sketches. For example, I might paint a bunch of cone flowers from the garden, or potted plants, or a warbler sitting in the common reed (a challenge at the alumni class FB page).
I also sketch and bind together little booklets of vacations or I paint objects of interest in the countries we visit. The windmill in my vacation sketch book of Fuerteventura is featured in the introduction. Watercolour sketches are a wonderful way to record all the sights of the many areas we visit.
Building my skills as an artist
As time passes, I am building my painting skills step by step.
This year, I am participating in a six-month online course with English botanical watercolourist, Anna Mason. I am learning to paint watercolor in 3 D perspective. The sweet peas (in the rotating carrousel above) are an example of my work for this class.
I have also enjoyed taking a one-day course in person in Leipzig given by Berlin artist, Susanne Haun. During this intensive one-day class, I learned to work with watercolour and ink. The result of this class is the added painting of the red pelargonium (also in the rotating carrousel above).
I find it very pleasurable and relaxing documenting my life, sketch by sketch, one day at a time.
I would love to hear what creative challenges you have set for yourself. Please comment in the "Leave a Reply" box below.