A Call to the Curious

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06 January 2012

A favorite place and image

This chiaroscuro (or clair-obscur) drawing in brush and ink of Marie-Eve and Camille sketching on the edge of a railway embankment in rural Quebec is a favorite because it reminds me of the social aspect of painting outdoors. The two young friends, who were students in a course I was giving there, often sat together, chatting away about other things while they drew and painted. You can imagine them picnicking together, taking their sketchbooks and paints along with a basket with wine and lunch and a blanket out to a favorite spot.

Contributed by Michael Kluckner

I had just taken a new job and moved to Germany. I was looking over a map, and orienting myself to the area around my new apartment in the small town of Hochspeyer. Then there it was, a scant six kilometers from my apartment; the town of Frankenstein. I thought to myself, no, it couldn’t be. Could it? A few days later I had some extra time so I drove to Frankenstein. The weather was sunny and Frankenstein, though very small, was charming. There was a Gasthaus(inn/restaurant) at the edge of town, with patrons enjoying the sunshine at outdoor tables. It took me all of two minutes to drive the entire length of Frankenstein. As I turned around and began to drive back, I noticed a churchspire nestled against a hill off to the left of the road. I pulled over to take a picture. Then I saw the castle, a menacing looking one at that, crumbling, perched on the hill overlooking the town. Unbelievable.

I did not have any more time that day, but after researching the castle I worked up the courage and made the climb up the hill. The weather was nice and the trail was wide. The watercolor drawing is a view from the end of the trail as it comes upon the castle ruins. My trip to the castle (at www.michaels-travels.com) turned out to be quite enjoyable and I plan to return, but not in the dark of night.

Contributed by Michael Liebhaber

This picture was taken in the middle of the salt flats, Salar de Uyumi, in Bolivia where even the hotel is made out of salt. This was one of those times I got to a destination to paint with my travel companion Nilton La Rosa without knowing how we were going to get back. About a week went by before we finally found a ride back to civilization. By then we were glad to be getting off the salt. It was hard on the skin and lips.

Contributed by Gregg Fretheim

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