Friday, November 14, 2014

Back to Vienna

"Ver Sacrum" Stamps with the Secession Building

The Secession Building. Ver Sacrum = Sacred Spring.
Vienna, in all its gilded Art Nouveau glory, is elegant and grand. The Secession building, which looks like a giant jewelry box to me, houses the Beethoven Freeze by Klimt. Since my hotel was nearby, I'd go by this white shimmering building every day and wave "hi" to it.

The Secession Building.
The Secession Building.


Vienna's most influential architect and "artist of buildings", modernist visionary Otto Wagner, has several landmarks in the city. This is his Karlsplatz subway station. The apple green color on every station was meant to signal a subway entrance. Back then the subway system was an innovation that people were just getting familiarized with. Wagner designed the very first entrances in Vienna, and he believed they should be beautiful.

Karlsplatz Station, designed by Otto Wagner.
Karlsplatz Station, designed by Otto Wagner.


Upper Belvedere is guarded by 12 fabulous sphinxes, and it houses Klimt's most famous painting, The Kiss. Yes, it's everything you expect it to be from up close and more! Unforgettable.

One of the 12 Sphinxes of Belvedere.
Belvedere Gardens
Belvedere Gardens with a Sphinx


Street Cafe and Waiters.

View of Vienna from the Albertina Museum Terrace. Full Moon in Twilight Hour.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Feature in Jazz Colours Magazine (Italian)

I was contacted by Marco Maimeri from the Italian jazz publication "Jazz Colours" to give an interview about my music drawings. The questions he asked were really great, and I enjoyed answering them. Marco selected which images to feature. He equally represented both digital and paper drawings. I answered in English, but the actual feature is in Italian. My favorite part is the last sentence of Marco's intro, which reads: "the mentality is jazz."

You can read the English version below, along with my translation of Marco's intro.
Grazie, Marco and Jazz Colours!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Next Stop: Munich for Oktoberfest.

Travel poster design.

A train ride from Vienna to Munich was about 4.5 hours. After Vienna's opulent architecture, Munich struck with its austerity. I really enjoyed drawing on Marienplatz, Munich's city center that houses both Old and New Town Halls. Numerous cafes all along the perimeter made it a very comfortable spot to draw.

Marienplatz. View of the Old Town Hall tower.
Marienplatz on a rainy night. View of the New Town Hall tower.
Marienplatz at night. New Town Hall, built at the turn of the 20th century in the Gothic Revival style.

Commemorative stamp design.


Oktoberfest, on the other hand, was anything but comfortable. It overwhelmed with the enormity of the fair grounds and very thick crowds. Being there for the final weekend of this month-long festival was not the best idea, because all tables inside the beer tents had been reserved since last year. "Beginner's luck" struck on my first day, as I managed to sneak inside one of the big tents and draw there for a couple of hours. But that was it. The following final days of Oktoberfest got more hectic and packed.

 Theresienwiese. Grounds of the Oktoberfest. Beer tents, Ferris wheel.

Commemorative stamp design.

I loved the food, and I loved the spirit and national pride. Majority of locals in Munich, as well as some visiting "temporary Germans", were dressed according to Bavarian tradition dating back to 19th century: dirndl dress for women and lederhosen for men. So fun! Taking the metro felt like I traveled back in time.

Rowdy festivities inside the beer tent.
Commemorative stamp designs.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

41st Annual Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village, NYC

Waiting for the Parade on Avenue of Americas in Greenwich Village.

Last night I went to draw the 41st Annual Greenwich Village Parade in New York City with a dear friend and artist Kati Nawrocki. I loved the cultural diversity of costumes and the crazy unhinged spirit of New Yorkers. It was one of the most interesting Halloweens costume-wise, and the parade was fantastic.  Keep an eye on Kati's blog for her Halloween drawings as well.

NYC traffic cone people were my favorite.

Starbucks Crowd

Monday, October 27, 2014

Day Tripper

...I only had a couple of hours in these magical fairytale-like places. It's simply not fair to find oneself *there* and not be able to stay longer! But I'm so glad to have visited, because now I KNOW! And will return one day to explore. So much beauty.

Salzburg, Austria
Prague, Czech Republic

Village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle in southwest Bavaria, built by Kind Ludwig II.
Walt Disney's Cinderella Castle was modeled after it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Vienna, Part 2: Wiener Kaffeehaus Encore!

...continuing from my previous post about Vienna's beautiful cafes. Here are all the other ones I visited.

Café Landtmann‬, once upon a time frequented by Freud. I was sitting outside, facing Burg Theater.

. . .

 "Part of what made the cafes so important [a century ago] was that 'everyone' went. [...] So there was a cross-fertilisation across disciplines and interests, in fact boundaries that later became so rigid in western thought were very fluid."

. . .
Cafe Central.  Grand interior, with live piano music. Opened in late 19th century, and became the key meeting place for Viennese intellectuals. Notorious for having Lenin, Trotsky, Hitler and Freud, among others, as patrons and regulars.

"The [ Café ] Central-people are always attracted like the murderer to the scene of the crime, to where they killed so much time, wiped out entire years.” – Alfred Polgar: “Theory of the Café Central”

Cafe Central.

Cafe Central.

Café Frauenhuber, oldest in Vienna, Mozart's favorite. Very cozy.

Café Schwarzenberg. Proximity to Viennese Opera House drives colorful, touristy crowds. Here's a dapper waiter rushing back and forth.

Café Schwarzenberg. Lady behind the sweets counter.
Café Schwarzenberg. Proximity to the Opera House drives diverse touristy crowds. Here's a group of international businessmen having late-night wine.
Cafe Tirolerhof. Best Gulaschsuppe in town! Here, it's mostly locals, who come to read newspapers and spend time with friends.

Drawings of Cafe Sperl are here >