Jagst hike & paint, Etappe 8

Jagstbrücke an der Heinzenmühle

JAGST hike & paint, Etappe 8, Heinzenmühle to Baierles-Stein (round tour)

Sure that if you follow a river, bridges are playing an important role for crossing it, to get from one side to the other, for connecting people. I already drew several of them on my way and voilà my first subject for the day is the bridge at my starting point, for which I climbed down to draw Heinzenmühles covered bridge over Jagst river.

This Bridge is so much larger than the smaller covered bridge over Gronach creek (see Etappe 7), but very similar in shape.

I arrived, before other hikers would appear and crossed the bridge for getting to the best painting spot – and later crossed again for continuing my hike. It is the starting point for Etappe 8 of my journey.  I continue to the left of the stream at the edge of the forest very close to the water.

Landscapes Jagst River

Again the odor of wild garlic is everywhere. The white flowers are already to be seen on top of the garlic leaves.

The river showed its calm face. I followed the huge bend in its course and in the beginning the trail was very close to the water.  In order to show somehow this kind of nearly U-turn of Jagst river, I decided to do some fast watercolours of different positions in one large sheet to make the bend in the stream somehow visible (see above).

After finishing my fast landscape watercolours, I continued following the narrow trail upwards –  it was getting steeper. ( I would not do this trail in rainy weather as it could be quite slippery and dangerous.)

I also perceive the sweet scent of wild phlox. There are large areas in the woods covered with this violet flower, which is fantastic. I could not draw it, as there was no place to rest…too steep.

The trail itself is not easy to climb, as lots of fallen trees obstruct the passage. Being able to climb is essential for this hidden path.

It was a real warm day and although it was shady in the forest I got very hot,  climbing up over stones, trees and undergrowth,

Finally as I reach the edge of the forest I am really done and follow the upper way back high above the previous track. The prospect of a picnic at the picnic-site „Baierles-Stein“ makes me feel a lot better.

„Baierles-Stein“ is a picnic area with a lookout, a fireplace and picnic tables high above Jagst river. Here you can see a lovely valley to the opposite side of the river and…you can hear the Autobahn, which is a bit disturbing. Everything else is beautiful.

From now on I was interested in how many versions of different grasses I could find and sketch, while having a good, hot coffee and snack in the shade. I sat on my picnic blanket and also sketched some wild flowers. After a while I gave up and trotted back to my car.

Material: Clairefontaine A3

Seen: 4 people close to the bridge, none on the steep trail, butterflies and insects, lots of wildflowers, wild garlic in bloom, ferns, waldmeister, lots of fallen trees because of the last dry summers and some storms

Duration: Long half day

Weather: sunny, about 20° Celsius

Thoughts: In between I thought: Will I manage to climb without falling or slipping away with my backpack…

This was the most challenging part in terms of fitness. Happy that it was just half a day this time. I was extremely tired in the end… as always, I am already looking forward to new adventures

Jagst hike & paint, Etappe 7


JAGST hike & paint, Etappe 7, Hammerschmiede: Gronach creek to Jagst river

The day looked promising. The clouds were still there, but the sun came through every now and then and I started my new stage of the hike & paint tour. At Hammerschmiede parking in Gröningen I parked the car.

This time I did not start at Jagst river directly, but walked straight towards it. The landscape looked freshly washed after the rain and the light green foliage sprouts everywhere. As I walk down the hill from the road to the hammer mill (Hammerschmiede) I already discover a lot of different wild flowers and herbs such as pink and yellow dead nettle, small anemones, yellow ranunculus, wild sage and small wild strawberry plants in full bloom. The landscape is developing and where a few weeks ago the trees were brown and unadorned, fresh green leaves or white flowers can be seen on some fruit trees.

After having sketched the blossoms of the tree I continued my way towards the mill.

Here is my sketch of the upper ensemble of the hammer mill.

Nowadays it is a museum and some kind of event location as well as restauration for hikers.

The old forge is still there and during events they make the whole big hammer forge work. There is also a baking house and an oil mill. Very spectacular.

The environment makes me feel positive and as I arrive at the hammer mill, I look for a place on the opposite bank for my sketch. The sky was leaded, nearly like a greyish-lavender colour, but luckily the wind was weak. The colours of the landscape, in contrary, were very intense. 

 I could have painted lots of watercolours at the mill, but I’ll save that for my next visit. First of all I had to continue crossing the river several times, either over large stone blocks or small bridges.

Stones by the water

 The deeper you dive into the forest, the more you perceive smells of wild garlic. At a ford where there must have been a bridge in earlier times (…because you can still see remains,) there is a place to picnic and also some wooden sculptures. For me it is the „forest of figures“. After that, the path soon becomes narrower and the Gronach gorge looks steeper the closer you get to the mouth of the much larger Jagst river. You cross the creek a few times on the way, which makes the tour very entertaining.

As I arrived at the mouth, I unpacked my picnic blanket and enjoyed the things I brought with me to refresh myself.

While I had that tasty coffee in the wild, time stood still for an instance and I so much enjoyed the moment. This is about the same, as being in the flow with a watercolour.

I started another watercolor of the light green forest and the small, covered bridge over the Gronach of which I painted the detailed foliage later in the studio as that would have been too timeconsuming. (This place is very close to the point I already drew in Etappe 5 – you see I did not get a lot further…which is great, as there is so much around that needs to be painted.  

Again I thought that the colours were extremely fresh and intense. Mostly there were different lush greens and contrasting reds and browns of the soil. The creek splashes into the river and the song of the birds make the drawing spot unique.

Then it’s time to start the way back through the gorge, the forest of figures, the wild garlic forest and getting back towards Hammerschmiede again.


Saved the best for last. Could not resist to make a fast sketch of another romantic bridge directly at the Hammerschmiede and was too done to see that the bridge was straight and not bent like in my watercolour. (I only discovered that as I finished that one in my studio).  Tired and satisfied, I went back to the parking lot. What a day!

Brücke an der Hammerschmiede
Material: A3 and 20 x 20 cm watercolor paper Clairefontaine. 
Used this time colored pencils for the underdrawing
Seen: lots of wild flowers, nice stones, about 9 or 10 hikers, one biker, heard birds and river sounds and smelled the scent of spring as well as the wild garlic
Duration: One full day of fun!
Weather: Good at the beginning, leaded sky, very cloudy with very few sunny intervals, 15° C, a bit of short shower in the end which prevented me to finish my last one, but it was late anyway…
Thoughts: Should have brought binoculars for birdwatch and should come back for sketching the little baking house and the turbine house …and, and, and….
Can’t wait to continue…