Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mystical Waldviertel

At the end of September I took a weekend class of Albert Hoffmann, an Austrian watercolor artist. You can see his watercolor work if you click on the topmost button on the left "Aquarell". He has a completely different approach than all the other teachers I have studied with. His work is very expressive and free. First he paints the motive and then everybody in class works on their own painting, while he aids, corrects, paints over.....
Waldviertel is the most northern part of Austria, and we were quite near where I spent a weekend in August. The climate is cool, there is a lot of fog and with the woods and hills a really magical landscape. There are a lot of small villages with old farmbuildings, tiny churches and of course a number of legends. In the above painting we started out with the trees in negative space and then added the village. Even with Albert's help I feel as if the painting falls into two parts.
The next morning we went to a little village with a pond for the fire brigade. The church, which Albert wanted us to paint was covered by trees, so we did not get a good reflection. Instead we painted old barns.
In the afternoon we painted a village, ducking down between the hills.
Sunday morning we spent at Schloss Greilenstein. One of the many old castles in that area. Sitting in the park we tried to capture just the most essential parts. "You're getting there." High praise indeed.
After lunch on our way back home we stopped at the side of a small road to try to capture the rolling hills of Waldviertel. I tried, I really did. In the end Albert just painted all over my painting, with me sitting in the grass beside him, laughing tears. Had I known then, what troubles hills would give me in my next class with him, I probably would have cancled :-)

If you are interested you can see more of my paintings at my flickr site.


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