Monthly Archives: March 2022
This sketch in gouache (ultramarine, burnt sienna and white) is based on this tweet from @AuschwitzMuseum.
Ala Gartner was a member of the active resistance against the Nazis and stole explosives to enable the Sonderkommando (who operated the crematoria) to sabotage the Auschwitz killing machine. Before being transported to Auschwitz in 1943, while enslaved as a worker and living in the Sosnowiec Ghetto in Upper Silesia, Poland, Ala married Bernhard Holtz. That too seems like an act of resistance.
She was murdered two weeks before the camp was liberated.
Killed by Russian shelling
This monochrome sketch in gouache (white, crimson, ultramarine) is based on the following tweet.
In memory, Oksana Shvets, a person like so many others, trapped and murdered in a brutal imperialist war.
Thanks to Naomi, and to Hannah for organising these fortnightly sessions. I had no clear plan today and used a mix of techniques. This is a mix of 2, 5, 10 and 20 minute poses. note the two drawings superimposed on each other in blue and green sharpie (better had I used complementary colours). I think I am still overdrawing. Especially on the blue paper, fewer, bolder strokes might have worked better.
Life drawing with Sophie. Organised by Hannah at Selena’s Hostel in Birmingham a week ago last Sunday. I mostly used the shades of grey brush pens with coloured sharpies for the tattoos.
These are my last sketches of Krakow.
Above is the Eglise Saint-Joseph drawn from the other bank of the Vistula. This was drawn in the shades of grey waterbrush pens in the 21x13cm watercolour sketchpad I had used throughout the trip..
A few hundred metres away is the Father Bernatek footbridge (Kładka Ojca Bernatka). On this are nine kinetic sculptures of acrobats, suspended among the bridge supports. This is a temporary exhibition called Between The Water and the Sky (Między wodą a niebem) by Polish artist Jerzy ‘Jotki’ Kędziora. These were sketched on panels of folded pastel paper in conte crayon.
I wondered at the slightly priapic appearance of the last sketch. Was that an accident of my drawing? No – looking back at my photo, I’m pretty sure that was there in the sculptor’s intent also.
Cafe and Klezmer: stop hating
At the STOP café in Krakow, the words on the wall say “STOP HATING yourself for everything you aren’t and start loving yourself for everything you already are”.
Walking the passageway leading into the Klezmer Hois restaurant in the Kazimierz district of Krakow, I had to navigate round piles of literary magazines. The tables are set amongst well-stocked book shelves.
Here there are nightly performances of Klezmer, the instrumental folk music of Ashkenazi Jews. When I was there, they played a song so well known that even I (two generations estranged from this heritage) know and play it. Hevenu Schalom Alejchem translates to We Brought Peace Unto You. Listening to this suddenly felt like an emptiness, in this place, with this history. I am wrong. Here, in the summer, takes place the largest annual Jewish Cultural Festival in the diaspora. The 31st season is June to July 2022. Watch this clip for a flavour.