A tiny house experience!

continuing with the Summer Holidays 2019 sketches ….!

After coming back from our wonderful holidays in Upper Austria, we decided to stay a bit in our home city of Graz before hitting the road again.

Our first stop on this trip was the headquarter of one of Austria’s best ice-cream makers, Eis Greissler in Krumbach (https://www.eis-greissler.at/manufaktur/). The weather that day wasn’t great,  it was cold,  wet and extremely windy in the Bucklige welt (land of thousand hills). After entering the café our son insisted on having his favourite ice-cream despite the weather being so cold, whilst we treated ourselves with a hot cup of cappuccino and mini bunt cakes, which we didn’t get to eat as they made their way into our son’s grumbling stomach :-)!

After satisfying our taste-buds we explored the premises for a little while. We walked up the hill to observe the beautiful landscape. I couldn’t help but sketch despite it being very windy and cold.   The weather condition was making my paper dry too fast, so I had to be really quick with my brush strokes. The fun of travel sketching is facing all sorts of uncertainties!

 

We next visited Natursinne not very far from eis-greissler. We were curious to know what it was all about, but it was closed due to a private event being underway. I took the opportunity of our brief stop here to sketch this landscape.

After Bucklige welt we headed to Gutenstein, our ‘holiday’ destination. Gutenstein is nestled idyllically between Schneeberg and the Vienna basin, home to Austria’s most wooded district. We spent our night in a small sustainable tiny house located in the middle of nowhere (https://www.wohnwagon.at). The tiny house was called ‘Fanni’ and it was really beautiful. The aged wooden floorboards, indigo dyed & hand block printed curtains (Blaudruck, Burgenland), solar-powered energy, compostable toilet,  a kitchen that was equipped with all the basic needs including local organic produce.  It was the kind of house that we dream of owning ourselves one day and living a 100% sustainable life!  All that surrounded us was nature and a strong stream flowing nearby. Our son’s excitement and joy were hard to contain and ours too :-)!

 

We settled in Fanni pretty quickly and had a hot cup of chai in our living/dining area. I sipped on the hot chai and sketched the cup of tea and glass jar with wildflowers. Oh ! it was so serene and beautiful sitting by the window looking out to the forest and listening to the sound of the rivulet.

Our tiny house-Fanni!
Living and dining area in Fanni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next morning we enjoyed our coffee in the garden and got ready to leave. We wished we could have stayed forever in Fanni! I had a few minutes before leaving to quickly capture the kitchen with warm sunlight filtering through the glass door. I couldn’t finish my sketch, though I captured the memory of our wonderful time spent as a family!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Steinapisting we shifted our base to Mariahilfberg also in Gutenstein. There are several trail walks in this region. We didn’t do any serious hike around but we did go into the woods to explore a bit.

The view of Schneeberg,  one of the mountains that provides drinking water supply to the city of Vienna, the world’s best drinking water! After sketching with my son we went for lunch in the only operating Gasthaus on Mariahilfberg.

 

 

 

                     Our son’s sketches of the tiny house. He is a fervent sketcher!

After having lunch I went to sketch the town Church, whilst my husband and son decided to have an ice-cream again. I am always very hesitant in sketching architecture and especially baroque. It was a very complicated scene to sketch. I became frustrated and ended up scribbling some marks.  Well, that’s what Travel Sketching is anyway, its quick and spontaneous. It is an impression of the people and the place. It’s not all about great art, or skill. Drawing is something everyone can do. I don’t use an eraser or straight edge while I sketching: misplaced lines, side doodles, quirky shapes are all part of it.

Our final destination on this trip was to an organic farmhouse called Adamah Biohof in Glinzendorf near Vienna (https://adamah.at). I took the opportunity of our business visit here to sketch the lovely herb garden on the premises.

This was a very short trip but a memorable one!

I am really glad to have picked up a habit of keeping an illustrated travel journal which not only enhances my trips but also opens my mind. An added bonus is our son gets very intensely involved in sketching along with me. I love his passion for he is truly in the moment, rather than living in some odd parallel world of constant screen time, and he makes for a great sketching partner!

Sketching is, by nature, an old-fashioned way of seeing which a child seems to understand instinctively. To sketch a scene is to truly observe it.  Once we return from any trip, my mind remains full of wonder. A quick flip through my journal’s pages and it all comes alive! It’s certainly not the same as capturing a passing moment with the click of a digital camera!

 

 

Next up-sketches from South Bürgenland and East Styria.....coming soon!

 

 

Capturing moments in my sketchbook!

Watercolour sketching captured my heart only in the last couple of years. Before that, I didn’t know anything about sketching or how to use watercolours for that matter.  It’s magic to me that with just a few squiggly lines and some paint, I can record a slice of our life! I wonder why I never did this earlier in my life ..?

During summer holidays this year, we decided to travel within our home country, Austria. We spent most of our time in Upper Austria and a bit in lower Austria too. This was the most relaxing holiday we ever had in years!  Unlike most of our camping holidays in Croatia, where getting a good spot for your camping van is like winning a lottery and secondly, you can’t relax because the coast of Istria is visited by a throng of holidaymakers.

During our holidays, I not only spent quality time with my family,  but I also had ample time to sketch in the most peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. This blog is a collection of sketches from our Summer holidays this year.  What makes these sketches even more dear to me are that I recorded all those wonderful moments with my own handmade watercolours, made using sustainable and eco-friendly pigments. These sketches give me a very unique and personal record of my experiences.

This is my travel kit which I always travel with. My mini palette never changes as these are all the colours that I have and use. I love the challenge of working with a limited palette.

The mesmerising view from our cottage of the lake Atter (or Attersee in German). It was a simple life for 10 days in a very old and cosy wooden cottage by the lakeside that provided us with all the basic needs.

 

The view of Höllengebirge (mountains of hell) from our balcony.

 

Sketch of the town, Steinbach am Attersee.

I went on a solo hike to explore the trail of  Kienklausse-Taferlklausse.  I  took out my sketchbook to record this path which I had admired looking at during trail run a day before.

I couldn’t walk all the way to Taferlklausse because midway through my hike I came across a sign that read ‘wegen wald arbeit gesperrt’ i.e  the path is inaccessible due to tree lopping and trespassers will be prosecuted. Yikes! I tried to call my husband but there was no signal on the hilltop. So, I went back to the base and called my husband to pick me up. Our plan of having a picnic together still happened though and I made this sketch from our picnic spot.

 

The landscape in Steinbach is also very beautiful but its easy to overlook it because the turquoise blue water of Attersee is very captivating. I sketched this on my way to home from Strandbad (public beach).

One evening after dinner I went out alone to sketch and I sketched this old house near Strandbad in the evening summer light.

 

On our last evening, I spontaneously grabbed my sketchbook and sketched the sunset!I would have missed it had my husband not stopped me from packing our bags and taking a moment to look out of the window and enjoy the sunset as a family!

After leaving Steinbach am Attersee we spent some time at my in-laws in Gmunden. This time I decided to sketch the Gasthaus (Restaurant and B&B) of my in-laws,  Gasthof Engelhof which also happens to be one of the best in the Salzkammergut region.  I have always shied away from drawing buildings but this time I mustered some courage to sketch an architecture.  I was quite happy with my sketch :-)!

The next day my husband and I went on a hike to a small hill behind our house called Grünberg. On reaching halfway through I decided spontaneously to sketch the scene of distant towns and agricultural land. I appreciate my husband’s patience since we still had a fair bit to walk to reach the top.

 

During our stay in Gmunden, we were hit by the summer heatwave. Hence, we decided to laze around the lake Traun or Traunsee as we say it in German. Its the deepest lake in Austria. I quickly sketched the Schloß Ort ( a very well known medieval castle) and the surrounding landscape as I was sitting facing the direct ‘hot’ sun. After sketching I took a short swim in a very cold lake to cool down and refresh whilst my husband and our son enjoyed their ice-creams.

 

Our two-week-long stay in Upper Austria came to an end and we took a train back home to Graz. We love travelling by train because my son and I get plenty of time to sketch in a 4 1/2hr long journey that goes through one of the most scenic rail routes. One of the stop that falls on this stretch of rail route is the world heritage town of Hallstatt. I had very little time but enough to capture it with a pencil. I coloured the sketch later in the train from memory.

I am glad that I traded my camera for a humble sketchbook. Doing a sketch of a scene imprints it on my mind so much more than taking a picture. It’s not always easy to find the time to do a drawing when we’re on vacation (or any other time, for that matter!), but I’m always so glad I did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up: Sketches from Lower Austria..coming soon