Monday, 17 April 2017

Somewhere between up and downtown

Every now and then, when the weather is nice and I can enjoy a walk around the city's ledge I can't help thinking how beautiful this little city is.

Following the different trails around the city you can find hundreds of picturesque sights and spots to sketch, between the remains of the ancient fortress and the beautiful valley underneath, you would be hard-pressed not to stop and enjoy the view.

Take these two sketches, for example. These locations are literally about 50 meters apart.

Right under the Bock to the left, overlooking Abbaye Neumünster to the right

Arriving at the "Austrian gate", beside the Bock

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Where is the bridge?!

We have had a couple of really sunny weeks lately, enticing me to take sketchbook, pen and watercolours out and explore the city. The reopening of the Adolphe bridge was the perfect occasion. It is one of my favourite places in the city and boasts one of the prettiest views over the "ville haute".

The bridge, also called Nei Bréck (new bridge) by the locals, is one of the most iconic monuments in the city and had been closed off for renovations and improvements for the future tram to run through.

I was decidedly a bit naïve in my eagerness to sketch the bridge, for when I arrived it was still covered by the scaffolding... No sketching my favourite bridge today! So instead I sat down in the middle of the temporary bridge next to it, looking back at the building of the state bank, another iconic building. It is where the original headquarters of the European Coal and Steel Community were, the forebearer of the European Union.

This view, with traces of the working site soon to be removed gave me a sense of documenting another, far smaller, moment in history.

However, the day was decidedly windy and I was soon covered in gravel and sand, so I stubbornly finished my sketch as fast as I could and moved on to a more secluded location between the trees, from where I could make a quick sketch of the tower.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Between the city and the countryside

It was a very busy weekend for Urban Sketchers Luxembourg, with not one but two sketchcrawls.

On Saturday, we attended the guided tour organised with Musee Dräi Eechelen and LUCA around the Adolphe bridge, or "Nei Bréck" (new bridge), as the locals call it. The bridge had been closed for renovations and to adapt the infrastructure for the future tram. It is great to have it back!

The tour was guided by Prof. Robert Philippart, who is a real expert on Luxembourg's history. While I wasn't able to hear all the information he provided (there was a big group of people and I was focused on my sketching), I did hear a few interesting tidbits, like for example the fact that the bridge's decorations were designed by craft workers as a way to promote their know-how, and not by artists or architects as is usually the case.

I have to admit that I was more interested in sketching our tour guide and group than the surroundings, particularly given the fact that the bridge is still covered with scaffolding.

There was a lot of enthusiasm for our sketching group among the crowd. Our guide was happy with the experience as well. Hopefully we will be able to repeat it in the future.

On Sunday we had our monthly outing, this time far from the crowds of the capital, in Grevenmacher, at the border with Germany.

It couldn't have been a more different sketchcrawl with wonderful weather and sedate Sunday pace.

It was very pleasant to sketch in the sun, observing the families enjoying their Sunday afternoon. A group of children popped by to see what I was doing, asking me where they were on my sketch.

The afternoon ended - how else? - around drinks on a terrace. Five ladies sketching and enjoying each other's company.