Jagst hike & paint, Etappe 12

JAGST hike & paint, Etappe 12, from Ockenauer Steg to the city of Kirchberg

Rain, rain, rain…I had to wait close to two weeks to try and find some more or less dry intervals to the start of my new Etappe no. 12.

Jagst river had very high waters because of the heavy rainfalls.

The day I started my next hike close to Ockenauer Steg, my mood was indecisive. Past the bridge I journeyed on to Kirchberg where I had painted several times last year.

The castle and part of the old city could be seen from far.

A good place to paint in the morning light. A large linden tree is half way to the city and the linden flowers spread their spicy scent all over the place. Three wooden benches to sit comfortably on this special energetic site below the large tree.

Time for a good coffee and as soon as I installed myself to sketch, I began a panoramic city view in direct watercolour. By then I was getting into a more focused and relaxed mood as with direct watercolour you need to be focused, otherwise you mess up.

Lateron I walked towards the city, but before entering, I turned right to get closer to the river.  As soon as I reached the river again, I painted the old large stone bridge below the city walls. I tried to also capture in my watercolour the strongly moving high waters, that rushed through the bridge.

Kirchberg bridge

Then I made my way through Hofgarten towards the roundtour below the castle with all the nice, tiny gardens right outside of the surrounding city walls and this is where I found again a lookout bench to have another sip of my tasty coffee.

Some animals also crossed my way. Besides grasshoppers I also saw a squirrel that showed no fear at all and sat there munching something. After that, I entered the castle and crossed the city through those tiny streets. On my way back to the car I saw lots of flower fields.

The common chicory (watercolour, see above)  is a plant that now grows everywhere by the small gravel roads. I really liked the form and colour and the shadowplay of the plants and grasses, so I had to paint it.

It was getting warmer and there could be some thunderstorms coming later. After the flower painting I decided to head back to the car and drive to a bathing point by the river to have an evening refreshment after my work was done.

In my head: …“Dreamer“ by Ozzi Osbourne, Sketchtour in Loket from 3rd to 5th of September
 
Material: A3, 20 x 20 and 20 x 40 cm watercolour paper , watercolour sketchbook
 
Seen: Very few people. Nice chats with locals. The smell of fresh linden blossom is incredibly nice.
 
Duration: Full day
 
Weather, after a long rainy period:  Warm and moist, in the end 28 degrees Celsius, no wind
 
Learning: Subjects to paint are endless in this beautiful area of Hohenlohe…

Jagst hike & paint, Etappe 11

JAGST hike & paint, Etappe 11 from Mistlau to Ockenauer Steg / Kirchberg (round tour over devils blade)

Who had ever thought that there are waterlilies on Jagst river. Shortly before I reached Mistlau I saw them (…and how could it be that I did not see them last time?) After I parked the car, I returned to that place to draw the river with some waterlilies on the opposite side as well as the tree shadows in the flowing water.

The warm weather and the relaxed feeling made for a holiday like summer atmosphere. Flora evolves and transforms week by week. The white blossoms in the elderflowers bushes are not any more visible. The bloom nearly ended already. A few ducks could be seen on the opposite side of the river.

I later crossed the concrete bridge, went through Mistlau and made a 10 minute sketch at the end of the village. A butterfly sat on my left hand and I tried to stay still for what seemed an endless time.

The last two weeks we had several strong rainshowers and the plants are growing enormously. Unlike in the last three very dry summers everything is extremely green.

Mistlau
Sketch of Mistlau

I reached the flower fields again and painted some of the flowers like poppies, marguerites, thistles and below white bluebells, scabiose etc., till it got too hot. Now the large, blue Viper’s Bugloss and violett thistle peak higher out of the other flowers in the meadow.

I reached the forest and it felt much nicer to be partly in the shade from now on. Then, Jagst river opens in front of me with a large wooden covered bridge, called Ockenauer Steg. Picknick time.

A few wooden benches allow visitors to have a beautiful lookout from the bridge. Btw there were a lot of wooden seats all along the trail. Great to watch and have a rest. The way is very well maintained.

I crossed Ockenauer Steg and soon reached the parking which will be my starting point for next time.

From now on it is the way back to the car.  I follow the round tour through the forest, past a place called Teufelsklinge (devils blade) and the mill I was at last time.

A fantastic day with lots of birdsong, marvellous weather and trillions of dragonflies.

In my head: Will we get back to the hustle and bustle and hectic of our former pre pandemic lives soon? Pros and cons.
 
Material: A3 watercolour paper , watercolour sketchbook
 
Seen: lots of bikers, dogwalkers, ducks, dragonflies, butterflies, one very small wagtail, heard frogs, smelled the fainting scent of wild garlic, which is soon gone and a wonderful wooden scent in the forest.
 
Duration: Another full, unique day to remember
 
Weather: Mostly sunny summer weather, 28 degrees Celsius, no wind
 
Learning: Drink more water, then the head works a bit better.
Sketch of bathing place by the river

Jagst hike & paint, Etappe 10

Bridge Lobenhausen

JAGST hike & paint, Etappe 10, Lobenhausen to Mistlau

The day started early for me. The weatherforecast said, that it would be humid and hot, so it was a good idea to leave home early. A bit underslept, I parked the car right where I left off last time (due to the rainstorm.) I had a flask of coffee and what we call a „mayers-brioche“ (brioche with three fillings: marzipan, nuts and poppy seed) and started with breakfast on my picnic blanket. What could be better than this! The small bridge looked appealing to me and the very dark shadows it cast onto the calm water cried: paint me…so again my first subject of the day was a bridge. It leads over a small side arm of Jagst river which is the inlet for the nearby mill.

As I painted there, the birds were singing their morning song, while this time the frogs were relatively calm. I could see that lots of different dragonflies were speeding over the bushes by the water. I have never seen that many in one single place.

Two people came to take a bath. They did not stay for long.

I crossed the river again over large stones and tried to find a way into the forest to the right side of the Jagst. The undergrowth was so impenetrable that I had to turn back, unfortunately, bitten by some nasty nettles.

Mäusebussard

A  buzzard turned its rounds above me and disappeared again. Shortly afterwards a goose flew elegantly by.

I changed plans and followed the small road, heading towards Mistlau. This is another good painting spot to the opposite side and I tried to paint the silos of the Lobenhausen mill (Kochendörfer)(Another point of view). Last time I sketched the silos a bit too wonky, in my opinion, so this time I used a little ruler in parts of the sketch and aimed to do the perspective right (I usually seldomly use rulers, but was happy to have one in my backpack. I believe it speeded me up a bit).

It was around midday as I continued my track westwards.

The whole way to my endpoint village, I could perceive the smell of elderflower bushes.

 

Lobenhausen Kochendörferr

Then I reached Mistlau bridge, which was destroyed during the war and rebuilt (with concrete…the design did not make it interesting for me to draw it.)

Within the village I saw that the restaurant would open again on certain days of the week and that they also begin having concerts again, which is great.

In my head: Next weeks hiking trip with friends which needs to be planned. So good to finally meet friends (still under distancing conditions), after that very long time of lockdown and sharp social distancing.

Eventually I continued in western direction, past the houses of Mistlau, Jagst river to my left side.

corn flower

Beautiful flower meadows could be seen. This is where I tried to paint some corn flowers at the edge of a field. Later I started a closeup of one flower (see below), but did not get further than doing a pencil sketch. Next day in my studio I watercoloured it.

I could have done an extremely large variety of wild flowers in this preserved area, but it was already late…and I was tired.

Mistlau will be my starting point for next time. I expect to be able to paint more of the beautiful flora soon.

Shortly before I reached the forest in western direction, I finished my painting excursion. Time to walk all the way back to Lobenhausen where my car was parked. Energy level low, but happy about how the day developed.

corn flower
Material: As usual my A3 and 20×20 cm sheets – … need to order a few more colours… different browns and greens are nearly gone.

Duration: Nearly whole day.
 
Weather: Hot and humid air. In the beginning some wind which nearly made me loose some paper. Luckily I grabbed it before it fell into the water.
 
Thoughts: Regrets that I could not travel to Poitiers, France, to see our group exhibition with some of my watercolours and lots of artworks from my French and Italian artist friends.
 
Seen: Two bathers, 6 bikers, 3 grey herons in the distance, 1 bussard, thousands of dragonflies, a goose, heard lots of birds and a few frogs, smelled the marvellous scent of elderflower all the way from Lobenhausen to Mistlau.

Each hike is so different and spectacular…can’t wait for the next one.
 
 

Jagst hike & paint, Etappe 9

Landscape

JAGST hike & paint, Etappe 9 from Baierles-Stein to Lobenhausen

Whilst Hohenlohe was still in a lazy mood , because the weather was unpredictable, changing from sunny to cloudy every now an then, I started to pack my backpack for Etappe 9.
 
My starting point was close to Baierles-Stein where I ended last time. Still a bit sleepy, but in very good mood I parked the car close to the recreation area.
 
According to the weather forecast there could be a thunderstorm later in the day, but as I planned to do more painting than walking far,  I did not worry. I was keen to hike in westerly direction towards Lobenhausen and followed the edge of the forest, high above the bed of the river.

 

First I sat down and drew fast sketches of far away forests, of windmills and two other landscapes of the extremely green area. Botanists would find lots to see and draw here. The surroungs are also covered with large wheat fields. Yellow rape fields in the distance begin partly to get their green seeds and the corn plants peek out of the soil. A peacock butterfly sat down in front of me and to my astonishment it stayed there quite a while.

peacock butterfly

At my first coffee stop I did a rough sketch of a dandelion plant into my sketchbook, feeling far from everyone and everything. As I continue down towards Lobenhausen, I could hear the sound of a church bell telling the time and saw two bikers. A very calm and hidden area.

Dandelion

I arrive at the barbecue/campsite with bathing possibility at the river. I am quite interested in painting the silos of a mill at the edge of the large camp area where childrens groups come for summer camps. The song of frogs in the nearby pond was the only sound I heard. I should have explored more of the area than just cross the small bridge, but time was tight and as always I wanted to get a few watercolours done.

pencil sketch Lobenhausen

As I finish my pencil sketch, heavy wind comes up and I can see that the weather forecast was right. In a hurry I packed my stuff. In the near distance I can see very dark clouds approaching.

 I hurried back to where my car was parked and just about 500m from the spot I was headed, heavy rain started. Just covered into my picnic blanket I sprinted to hide into my car. After that you really feel alive! My reward for the end of the day was a nice dinner at home to bring me back to a good energy level.

Material: No changes , still A3 and 20 x 20 cm Clairefontaine watercolour paper plus this time a watercolour sketchbook (dandelions)

Seen: 5 people, wild flowers, lots of dandelions spreading their seeds, heard: frogs and birds, other stuff: need to explore more about fauna. Ah, and not to forget the small rabbit who was at just about 1 m away from me hiding behind high grass. He remained there for quite some time before he hopped away.

Duration: Half a day with an abrupt end

Weather: Like in April, weatherforecast was right: rainstorm in the end…

This was an easy trail and not too far, which was good in the end for being able to sprint all the way back to the car. Next time my start will be in Lobenhausen. Can’t wait…

Map Etappe 9
wild garlic