I’m Moving…

I was in Italy for another 3 days before returning home. We went to a Canyon to do some rock climbing on the last day. Apart from that we just enjoyed the sun :)

Now that I’m back in Germany, I went to Ewersbach for a few days. I’m moving from one room to another room in the dorm. Packing things, carrying them over, walking back and forth. Things are moving.

On the art side, I feel inspired and stressed at the same time. Inspired because of new ideas, stressed because I don’t have much time. In between stacking books and sorting clothes I have some small projects going: final touches on my rhino mask, painting the palette shelf and starting a new painting. All these things are works in progress, and they don’t happen themselves. But I’m moving.

Then, something else that might not be so obvious. A mysterious health issue that has been following me for 7 years and might now be uncovered: a fungal infection in my intestines. It’s treatable, but the treatment is tedious and takes a long time. I’m taking the medication and I’m not excited about the way I feel physically, but I’m glad to finally have a lead. And as tedious as the treatment is, I know this isn’t going to last. It’s slow, I’ll probably have setbacks. But most important… I’m moving.

Travel Log, Day 3: Lucca

We slept in and had a simple form of fresh bruschetta. I just put together some tomatoes, onions, garlic, mozzarella, spices and olive oil and vinegar. The lemon rind added a nice touch :)

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Then we drove into Lucca and rented some bikes for a few hours. You can ride on top of the city wall and also inside the city center. We’ve been here a few times before, but it’s beautiful each time. I got to see the inside of St. Martin’s Cathedral, with an original painting by Tintoretto. We also saw a giant horse sculpture while cycling the city wall. I think it must be new, I don’t remember it from before. You always can discover something new if you keep your eyes open :)

 

 

Vacation Travel Log, Day 1-2: Arrival in Tuscany

I will be in Italy for one week. Yesterday we got up at 4AM and drove from Germany down to Tuscany, near a town named Lucca. It took us 14 hours and we were wasted when we got here. But the view from the house could be enjoyed, even with travel exhaustion.

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Today, we still didn’t do much and mostly hung out at the house. We jumped in the pool for a little and then I took up a sketchbook and did some drawing. There are many things to draw here, but I decided to depict an “Olive Grove at St. Gennaro”. I’m not a master at colored pencil drawing, and I didn’t have any real green tones apart from a neon green marking pencil. But I like the result, anyway. Kind of reminds me of Cezanne and Van Gogh… they drew from similar scenery.

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Inspired and glad to be Home (Italy in Retrospect)

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I just got back from a 2-week vacation in Italy with my family. The first week was in Tuscany, the second in Venice. I could post updates in the first week, but when we were in Venice the internet connection was next to inexistent. So here’s Venice after the fact:

Day 7: Trip from Lucca to Venice. A very long and stressful trip, because my sister Jessica is autistic and afraid of large crowds, new places, and water. Venice has all these things, so it took my parents 7hours to get her from the car to the appartment. I and my younger sister Sarah couldn’t really do anything except carry luggage and go on ahead. So we were all exhausted, but relieved when we finally all reached the appartment.

Days 8-14: Venice. We went to see parts of the city, some churches, museums and shops. My dad loved the water and going different places with the “vaporetto” (the water-bus), Sarah liked the beach at Lido and some shops and gelato, Mom loved the Santa Maria de Salute-church and the Frari-church. I liked the light and the art, both in museums and in details all over the general city. All of Venice is a work of art. I got to draw some of the details, faces and other things, as well as see the Guggenheim-Museum, the Accademia, and the Frari Church (which contains a lot of art in its original setting).

The trip home was almost as stressful as the trip to Venice. But we got home after 16hours. Glad to be back!

Day 3-4: A Road Trip

Day 3: My parents and Sarah took a short trip to Lucca. I took the day off with Jessi.

Day 4: Day trip to Orvieto. We left at around 10AM, went to a really good restaurant for lunch, and drove all the way down to Orvieto (3h south). The church is beautiful and the town is charming, without too much tourist traffic. We got back by 6PM, so we were tired by the end of it. It was a good trip :)

Travel-Log Italy 2016: Day 1-2 (Overcoming Obstacles)

I am on vacation in Italy with my parents and my 2 sisters. We will be near Pisa for a week and in Venice for a week. My 2 brothers are staying at a youth camp at the same time.

Day 1: The ride down to Italy

We left the house at 5AM. The ride was smooth and we didn’t face any traffic. Still, it took us until 4PM to reach our destination.
When we got to the vacation house, we were greeted by the home owners. They showed us around and gave some suggestions for local restaurants, etc. They were very nice, and their vacation rental is great, as well.

Day 2: Overcoming Obstacles

My older sister Jessica is autistic and so she has very particular anxieties. One of these is the fear of water, eventhough she used to love water. So when my parents decided to try to get her into the pool this morning, she resisted that. She cried and made it really clear that she didn’t want to swim, but my parents didn’t give up. In the end, Jessi was in the pool for 10min, and she was proud of it. She had done something extraordinary.

Later, I went with my dad and younger sister Sarah to Lucca. We had lunch, ate Italian gelato, and rented a couple of bikes. This might seem like nothing special, but for me it was, also, extraordinary:
In the past, I had to  struggle with chronic fatigue issues , and even a year ago, a simple bike tour would have been nearly impossible. So for me, riding a bike on the city wall and through town was out of the ordinary. For me, it was overcoming an obstacle.

 

While I take the surroundings in, I am keeping my eyes open for stuff to draw, there is no shortage of intersting things here. While we were in Lucca today I drew a quick sketch of the guy next to us. And I think some of the stuff I took pictures of will be worth a sketch or painting. Right now I am resting, my dad has my packpack, which has the sketch in it. So pictures will have to follow later :)

 

 

A couple of Full Weeks!

The last time I posted I was working on the painting of my sister Sarah. Several stuff has happened since then, here’s a quick news flash:

My relatives from the US came to visit us in Germany for 3 weeks. I and my mom went with them (8 people in our car) for 12 days to Italy and the German Alps. Then we returned and celebrated my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary. The preperation was a lot of work, more than we’ve ever worked on a party. But it was all 100% worth it!

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Everything was good timing, even the weather: There was good weather for the party, 2 days later a storm hit us like we haven’t had in a long time. The party tents were getting blown away like sail on a ship. Luckily my siblings and I and my mom were able to take down the tent walls before it broke. That was an adventure, and it was grace!

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My parent’s 25th Wedding Anniversary
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After the party: The Storm took the tent down!

After 3 weeks of action and work, the house is quiet again. We’re cleaning up the dishes from the party, my siblings are back to school, normal stuff again. Especially my parents are happy to go back to normal, but so am I.

I would have a few weeks of “normal” if I could , but 3 more days and I will be going to Cyprus for 7 weeks. I will be working at the House of Prayer, as a musician and as a leader for the art workshops. It’s one thing after another, but it’s also exciting! Taking it a day at a time!