Posted on Jan 10, 2013 in Berlin | 2 comments

Oona Leganovich watercolour

This is not my work, but a watercolour painting I am buying from one of the Berlin Urban Sketchers, Oona Leganovic. I very much admire her work and am thrilled that I can take this original piece home as a souvenir of both her work, and my Berlin urban sketching time. I think it’s a wonderful watercolour of a residential building in Berlin, gloomy, urban, almost industrial, just the way I like it.

On January 9, I had quite the bohemiam lifestyle, even though it was only for a day: I went to a 3-hour life drawing session in the morning in someone’s apartment in Kreuzberg. Oona had told me about this group that gets together and chips in for a model, so that it ends up being only €7 per person. The guy who rents the apartment where we drew, is a young American who moved to Berlin to play poker online. Yup, that’s how he makes his living. You meet all kinds of people here, and I find it fascinating how some of them make their money. Apparently it is not legal to play poker online in the U.S., or at least to make a living from it, I am not sure how he explained it. But he said, you can in Canada, and clearly in Germany as well. So he is here in Berlin, enjoying cheap rent and a cool city while making money online. Still, I am not going to start playing poker online anytime soon. I will stay with my graphic design studio and my clients.

After the life drawing session, I hopped on the subway to make it to a lunch date with my Vancouver friend J. and his partner K. who have just moved to Berlin. K. works from Berlin for his Vancouver employer from 3 pm until midnight so he’s roughly on an Eastern Canadian schedule anyway, and J. who is a graphic designer and artist as well, is hoping to find work in Berlin as a designer but also to pursue his passion for art. I wish him well, and I am sure he will do great — he’s a talented guy with a great work ethic and fantastic ideas.

Then I checked my highly complex, strategically planned subway schedule in order to go to yet another area of the large Kreuzberg district to meet several urban sketchers at Tante Emma Bar. I must really like this hanging out and sketching in bars thing, because I stayed in that bar long after the other sketchers left to continue drawing — I was there from 4:30 pm until almost midnight, a good 7 hours! I loved it. This is my kind of life.

Life drawing

Sketching on old newspapers.

Life drawing

Life drawing on old newspapers.

Urban sketch in Tante Emma Bar, Berlin

Urban sketch in Tante Emma Bar, Berlin, with Katrin and Omar as well two other illustrators. We already made another date for next week at a different location.

Urban sketch in Tante Emma Bar, Berlin

I started painting the lamp you see in the previous sketch in the right corner, in Procreate on my iPad and got wrapped up in its details, so I stayed another 3.5 hours after the other sketchers left around 8 pm. It was very pleasant and comfortable to sit in a bar by myself, a couple joined my table for a little while, as is common in Germany — in Canada we would not think of sharing a table in a restaurant or bar, but in Germany you just ask.