Friday, July 29, 2011

You're Everywhere ... like dog sh*t

Ok ... it's not my saying (and my Mother would NEVER want me to repeat such 'piggishness') ... but once I heard someone say about an artist with paintings in several locations ... and I quote - 'he's everywhere ... like dog sh*t'. ... nice.

So ... guess what ... I'm everywhere ... like dog sh*t !!! And, it's not sooo bad at all !! ... it's more like ... fertilizer. I have three paintings in the window at d'Orado, five framed prints in the window at Bilderbogen ... AND, as you might be aware, I have an exhibition opening in the PAULANER Wirtshaus am Markt on Wednesday !!! So ... yes, I guess I am everywhere ... well, you now know the saying.

Not only that, but my exhibition poster is in at least 25 shop windows ... hahahah ... funny !!! So ... here are just some of the finer addresses of Schwaebisch Gmuend. I might need another hour or so to photograph the rest of the shops ... hehehehe

So, sit back and enjoy the show !!

this is one of my more favorite spots ... right underneath the 'toiletten' sign

And last, but not least ... in the window of the beautiful Paulaner ....

Prosit !

It's so funny for me ... I see some people looking in the windows and I think ... I'm so incognito .. they don't know who I am but I'm watching them checking out the funny poster. I love it ! It's almost the same feeling when I created the 20th Anniversary Musikfest poster ... and nineteen thousand beer mugs were created with my painting ... and EVERYONE had the Musikfest beer mug - they actually sold out in four days ... and I ditched the tent that they gave me and hung out in the Hofbrau tent and signed thousands of mugs ... and free Hofbrau for me !!! (I drive a hard bargain !!)

And then on the last evening of Musikfest, the lovely volunteers cut down the beautiful Hofbrau banner with the blue and white diamonds and presented it to me as a gift ... I received two banners that year. We had them hanging from the large maple tree in my Parents' backyard for my Schwaebisch Gmuend slide show party .... good times ... really good times ...

Mittwoch -- Yeah !! Next Wednesday is the Day !

So ... a great day today !!! I enjoyed a Hefeweizen at the Paulaner with my little love Valentin ... sooo cute. He saw that my bier was on a coaster and pointed to the coasters on the table ... so I gave him one ... notice where he put his milk bottle ... hahaha !!

already a man after my own heart ! Beer (milk) and pretzels

So then, it was a painting day ... I have only Saturday and Sunday to complete my exhibition ... we hang on Monday. So, I cranked up the Natalie Cole, prepared my paints, poured a glass of Shiraz (very disappointing) ... and focused. I'm already pleased with the paintings ... BUT ... need to tweak a couple more ... then I will be able to say 'aha ... the exhibition is good ... let's party !!"

I'm looking forward to Wednesday ... I will wear the shirt that my Parents brought back from Munich in 1988 ... 23 years ago !!! ... and my tuxedo jacket ... AND ... hopefully we will have an accordion player ... that would be awesome !!! My wonderful Father played accordion for almost 70 years ... he was so great. If I could find an accordion player that could play 'Twilight Time' and 'Don't Blame Me' and 'Moonlight Serenade' ... and 'It's the Talk of the Town' ... I'd be overwhelmed ... I should have practiced more ...

So ... here are some of the paintings to give you a hint of what's to come on Wednesday ... at the PAULANER !!! How fabulous is THAT !!!! My Parents would have been proud ... they will be with me in spirit no doubt.

I decided to show you only this photo ... because I must keep some of the paintings a surprise !! I hope that you will feel welcome to come and celebrate on Wednesday ... and we can toast with a nice Hefe~weissbier at the PAULANER ... PROST !!

Why not wear your dirndl or lederhosen or marvelous hat !!!! ... and bring your instruments too !!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Vernissage !!

Yeah !! It's happening !! My third exhibition in beautiful Schwaebisch Gmuend. If you happen to be in Schwaebisch Gmuend next Wednesday, please feel free to stop by the Paulaner Wirtshaus to join in the celebration. It starts at 18:00 hours ... that's 6:00 p.m. to my American friends.

We'll dri
nk Hefe~weißbier and have a little something to eat ... and make merry !

If you have walked in the Parade ... or plan to ... it might be fun for you to join us.

So, be welcome.

Prosit !!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Conrad has renamed the petite atelier ... He calls it the Montmartre of Schwaebisch Gmuend. I thought that was funny and I was a little flattered by that ... but then ... without announcement or notice, FOURTEEN people came by my atelier today ... er, I mean Montmartre. It was sooo great !!!

Today I finished the painting of this lovely man ... I don't know WHO he is but I painted him two times ... it would be great if he could attend the vernissage which may be next Wednesday or Thursday at the Paulaner !!!! How special would THAT be !!

This mysterious lovely woman is Cornelia. She is a long time friend of Michaele and Conrad's. She also is an artist and spent the afternoon in Montmartre. Sipping a wonderful Spanish wine compliments of Gundi ... Notice the man on the left checkin' her out !!

Gundi, Conrad and Cornelia at Monmartre

Michaele invited me to European Church Music tonight ... it was spectacular !! Notice the instruments from the Baroque age.

More ancient instruments

This is the finale of the performance ... people were clapping and cheering ... just unbelievable. Perfection in voice and music !!

Mom and Dad

John and Teresa Schlegel

The things that make me think of my Mom when I'm not already thinking of my Mom ...

White Keds and saddle shoes
When people say 'not so much'
daisies ... and hanging fuschias
A Whiskey Sour Cocktail
Skip-Bo card game
Anything Irish

The things that make me think of my Dad when I'm not already thinking of my Dad ...

Walking and whistling
Antique German Beer Steins
the word 'Gesundheit'
Accordion Music
Skip-Bo card game
Anything German

Naturally, this is only the 'short list' ... and there's also kindness, humor, thoughtfulness, devotion, love ... there are sooo many moments and so many reminders of them ... all I can say is appreciate your loved ones while they are living ... life passes swiftly

oh my Papa ...

This is my Dad and me (longer hair, smaller hips). We were toasting with our new beer mugs (my painting for the 20th Anniversary of Musikfest was on the mugs). That's my brother-in-law Boby in the back with the Panama Hat ... party at brother Jim and Diana's ...

Today is always a day of remembrance for me because it is the day my Father went to heaven to be with my Mother ... who left us just one year earlier. It's three years now. And so very often I think ... 'oh, I have to call Mom and Dad' ... so many little reminders of them.

Yesterday I was walking though 'City Center' (it's a large building with many stores) and I saw a pair of white canvas sneakers ... they looked like Keds ... and right away I thought of my Mom. She used to wear white Keds ... I can still see them hanging from the wash line in the back yard ...

And, yes, I know although they always live in our hears, it's still a crying day for me ... I just can't help it.

So, this morning I will go to my petite atelier and paint and think about how my Parents would love to attend an exhibition of Parade People at the Paulaner. For the vernissage I will wear the Oktoberfest shirt that my parents brought back from Munich in 1988 .. as well as wearing it today.

And yes, they will be with me in my heart as usual ... and I will toast to them with a
Hefe~weißbier !! (that should probably be plural).

I miss you Mom and Dad ... every day ...

Monday, July 25, 2011

As of today ...

As of today I have extended my wonderful European trip until the very last day of August !! Yeah !! That makes me sooo happy ! I love it here ... so much to do, so many places to see, concerts to hear, friends to share time with and outdoor cafes to visit ... and speaking of ... guess where my new exhibition entitled 'The Parade People' will be ...

Paulaner Hefeweizen Bier

The beautiful Paulaner restaurant and outdoor cafe

The Paulaner outside ... sitting and enjoying a Hefeweizen bier and watching the clouds. That's the lantern featuring the 'Einhorn' ... the beloved symbol of Schwaebisch Gmuend ... ahhhh ....

From inside looking out toward the Johanniskirche

The view from inside the Paulaner. The very sweet and quaint restaurant is up the stairs. It's very Bavarian ... featuring dark paneling and white walls and pretty gingham curtains ... I really enjoy it there ... always a petite salad (salad with potatoes) mit ein großes Bier, bitte !!

Now, if you guessed The Paulaner for my exhibition from my subtle hints ... you are correct !!! I thought about it and thought about it ... and it really is such a good place for them. The space will hold exactly nine 1 meter x 80 cm paintings ... exactly !! AND, it's bright and cheery ... and lots and lots of people go there to enjoy their lunch. I was there on Sunday for a little salad and large bier and the dining room was packed solid !!! Soooo ... I think it's the best place ... and what better place to have an art opening than a beer hall !!! So ... the Paulaner it is !!

I will keep you posted on the 'when and where' ... and keep a night open in early August ... hopefully I will see YOU at the Paulaner with The Parade People !!! Prosit !

The Parade People ... coming together ...

This cutie pie was so great to watch .. and photograph .. and paint !

Well, I might just say that a good percentage of The Parade People are on their way to being finished ... I have to alter three of them, and then once they're just as I want them, I will have nine to show. Now .... to show ... where ? I do have a great idea ... and, if all goes well, they will hang in the perfect spot ... more info to come !

The paintings measure 1 meter high by 80 cm wide ... that transfers to us Americans, where metric is beyond us except when buying a 2 liter bottle of Coke, to about 40 inches by 32 inches. I used the sames stretchers that I used when I exhibited 'The Red Violin and other Compositions'. It's a beautiful size indeed !!

Every day when I paint, I always set up The Parade People around me. It inspires me more when they're in view than if I would paint them one by one and then just stack them somewhere until they're ready to be shown. When they're together I can see changes that I'd like to make and if they are all a good 'fit' together ... and if they will be exhibited, how to hang them, who goes next to whom ... and so on and so on ...

So each day I open up the petite atelier, turn on my music - yesterday it was track nine of Chocolat (repeat, repeat and repeat), bring them all out and position them. It's also nice if someone stops by ... when the paintings are out of the closet, er, so to speak, there's more interest ...

At the end of this week they should all be done and ready to go - at least for an exhibition ... keep your fingers crossed that they will be displayed at ... well, I'll let you know ... Prosit !!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Conrad !!! Joyeux Anniversaire et Zum Geburtsteg !!

Here we are walking to Augustinerkirche für Europäische Kirchenmusik ... Brahms ... requiem ...

Check out this beautiful church - Augustinerkirche - incredible ... beautiful paintings, ceilings, pews, alter ... and there sits a grand piano ... waiting for the performance ...

I have met her only a few times ... and had the pleasure of dining with her at Gundi and Ali's home ... this is Katrine ... she is the blond woman to the right of the podium. She was the opera soloist ... très fantastique !!!! Imagine hearing this echoing beautiful voice resonating from the walls of this old church ... lucky me !!!

Afterward, Happy Birthday Conrad !!! ... Dinner at Trattoria ... and after, a champagne toast !! Bernd and Conrad -

I also say, Conrad loves Michaele ... and she loves him too !! Prost !

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Work in Progress - 'The Parade People'

'The Parade People' .... I just love this cutie pie !!

just getting started ...

I just wanted to give you an idea of the 'how and why' of The Parade People'. In Schwaebisch Gmuend there are five 'birthday' parades each year. They start on the second Saturday of June, and then continue each Saturday for the next four weeks. The first parade is for all those who turned or who will turn 40 in that same year, and then for the 50s and so on. Well, hard for me to believe, but I turned 50 this year - specifically on February 14th ... for those of you not 'in the know', that's Valentine's Day ... ahhh ... romance ...

So, as a birthday gift for me, my lovely friends from Schwaebisch Gmuend invited me to walk in the parade this year ... and I did !! It was fabulous !! I wore a conductor's tuxedo from CE Roth (11th and Turner Sts.), a pretty pink shirt that I purchased in Schwaebisch Gmuend and a long black skirt. Attention women of Schwaebisch Gmuend, if you would like to borrow my tuxedo jacket for when YOU walk in the parade, just let me know. My friend Michael will be able to help locate me.

If you're unfamiliar with the parade, there are marching bands, fanfare, singing, flowers, pull carts, tuxedos, top hats, dirndls ... a real celebration for sure !!

So after the festivities of the parade were over, I thought ... what to do, what to do, what to do with the weeks that I will spend here in beautiful Schwaebisch Gmuend. Years ago - eight years ago to be precise - I wrote a little book of my travels, experiences and observations of Schwaebisch Gmuend ... so, I didn't want to repeat myself in that sense ... and then I thought ... why not do a series of paintings of 'The Parade People'. Supposedly, it's not been done which I find so very hard to believe !! I still had nine stretchers from my 'Red Violin and other Compositions' exhibition at the Musikschule, and I had packed a roll of canvas in my suitcase ... so, I began 'The Parade People' series. It's been more than fun !

As always though ... sometimes a painting goes smoothly, and sometimes it doesn't. I've had hardships with color, with placement, with 'likeness' ... and then I've hit it spot on (or so I think). So, without future adieu, here is the newest painting of 'The Parade People'. Keep in mind that I just started it and it's most definitely a work in progress.

Now, I've only worked on this a few hours so it's just the beginning. I can see differences from the original photograph and tomorrow I will head back to the petite atelier to adjust the painting. Sometimes it takes another medium like photography to see the 'errors' ... but this series isn't about laboring over a replica portrait, it's about capturing the spirit of the day ...

What I need to change ... well, the eyes could be a little wider and a slight bit lower, the nose a little shorter and the mouth a little higher on the left ... and that's just for starters ... but I'm pretty much ok with my first attempt. Tomorrow I will view it with 'fresh eyes'. Portraits are not the easiest thing to paint ... it's not like a landscape or still life where subtle differences from the object to the painting are not crucial ... but, in a portrait, even if one feature is off just a centimeter, the portrait will not be correct. It's that exacting. ...

but, like I said ... just to capture the spirit of the day ...

'The Parade People' ... and Carl Orff

So ... still continuing with 'The Parade People'. And, what is a German birthday parade without a beautiful Fraulein ? Ok, ok, before you get your 'knickers in a twist', I know ... the German's don't use the word 'fraulein' any longer, and regardless of marital status, all women are to be addressed as 'frau'. Personally, the word 'fraulein' warms my heart and I prefer to be called 'fraulein' more than 'frau' ... especially because Julia hasn't found my 'fhasap' yet. And besides, it's 'prettier'.

Here is the collection so far ... and a couple more in the other room. I think as a collection they're fun ... so, maaaybeee, before I depart beautiful Schwaebisch Gmuend, we will have a petite exhibition of 'The Parade People'. I hope so !

What's a lighted hearted day without a little Carl Orff ? My beautiful friend Vesna phoned me and invited me to join her for an evening at the Opera. Carl Orff: Der Mond - The Moon. You might know Carl Orff from his mega-masterpiece: Carmina Burana. Well, Der Mond is heavy, Heavy, HEAVY ... but wow, these high school students presented us with a fantastic performance !! The orchestra was powerful and the singers ... well, let me just tell you ... once again, incredible.

And, happy to say, that the Moon is now back where it belongs ...

Bravo ! Bravo !! BRAVO !!!