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

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

Hammerschmiede

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.

Gronach-Brücke

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…