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Jun 19, 2020

Happy 960th Birthday !!!!

Happy 960th birthday
to my hometown of Wittighausen in Germany!
Happy 960th birthday, Wittighausen!
How do we know that Wittighausen was "born" in 1060? Well, it was first mentioned in a document on June 22, 1060, when King Henry IV (1056-1106) signed a certificate, in which he conveyed a huge area of ​​land to Bishop Adalbero of Wuerzburg. It describes the area encompassing today's community of Wittighausen. The village of Unterwittighausen was mentioned in 1060 in this official document, and in the year of 1243 there was mention of "Inferior Witegehusen" (Unterwittighausen), in contrast to "Wittingenhusen superior" (Oberwittighausen). Wikipedia.de source
How do we know that Wittighausen was "born" in 1060? Well it was first released on June 22, 1060 Mentioned when King Henry IV (ruled 1056-1106) signed a document in Corvey, in which he relinquished Bishop Adalbero von Würzburg (Count von Lambach, ruled 1045-1085) the ban on wild animals in a huge area around the city. The place Unterwittighausen was first mentioned in 1060 and in 1243 "Inferior Witegehusen" (Unterwittighausen) is mentioned for the first time, in contrast to "Wittingenhusen superior" (Oberwittighausen). Wikipedia.de source
An aerial shot of the largest village, Unterwittighausen
Aerial view of Unterwittighausen

A decade ago, in 2010, the community of Wittighausen celebrated the950th birthday in a huge way. Throughout the year we had celebrations with a large summer festival, parties, special church services, demos, kids activities, lectures, etc. Wittighausen (with a current population of around 1,630 in 12 square miles) consists of 4 small villages, Unterwittighausen, Oberwittighausen , Poppenhausen and Vilchband. As small as these villages are, they each have their own church, with Oberwittighausen sporting a second chapel that is famous for its rare octagonal architecture (only 3 in the area of ​​Franconia). (My final art thesis in secondary school in Germany dealt with this chapel - and I got an A for it.)
A decade ago, in 2010, the Wittighausen community celebrated its 950th birthday with parties, church celebrations, moves, events, etc. Wittighausen has around 1630 inhabitants and consists of 4 small villages: Unterwittighausen, Oberwittighausen, Poppenhausen and Vilchband. Of course every there has a church, and a beautiful chapel in Oberwittighausen, which is very famous because it is only one of 3 octagonal buildings in the area. (I wrote my high school diploma thesis on the Sigismund Chapel - and got an A.)
I was commissioned to paint large oil paintings of each of the 5 churches, which were then turned into postcards for sale. My parents were visiting me the year before here in Florida and were able to take the paintings with them in their suitcases, saving lots of shipping cost !, and since then the originals have been on display in the city hall in Unterwittighausen, steps from where I grew up.
For the festival I was assigned to hold each of the 5 churches in Oel. These oil paintings were then sold as print postcards, among other things. My parents visited me in Florida the year before and were able to bring the paintings home in their suitcases, which saved a lot of postage! Now the pictures have been hanging in the town hall in Unterwittighausen ever since!
Vilchband, Oberwittighausen, Unterwittighausen,
St Sigismund Chapel, Poppenhausen.
Paintings done in oil on masonite board, 16 "x20"
Painting in oil on board, 41cm x 51cm
Me with my 2 favorite paintings.


My cousin Edgar Braun, who still lives in the area, is a graphic designer and publishes lots of small booklets about Wittighausen and its community. He did a whole publication about the festivities in 2010, here is the link. Check it out! (Unfortunately I couldn't visit during that year, so I missed all of the action! Also, disclaimer, the animal on page 27 is NOT native to our area ... LOL).
My cousin Edgar Braun, who still lives in the area, is a graphic designer and publishes many booklets that tell about Wittighausen and its interesting residents, buildings and other things. He wrote a whole book about the festival in 2010, you can see it here. Unfortunately, I couldn't visit Germany that year, so I missed all the fun! And as a little explanation for my American friends: the animal on page 27 is not at home ... haha.
And below is something if you are really bored ... ehm, if you are interested in the progress of me painting these churches. I blogged about it intensively for the 3-4 months it took me.
And here are some links that you can read if you are really bored ... ah, interested: My blog reports about my painting, which lasted 3-4 months ...
Blog about the Grand Finale, the festival with some photos, but the booklet by Edgar is much more colorful and comprehensive.
The grand finale here, a few photos from the party, but Edgar's little book is much more detailed.
Thank you for your interest!
Thanks for your interest! Best regards to Wittighausen !!!!!

May 17, 2020

Excitement in Pen and Ink during Lockdown

Hello all! I hope you everyone in your family is well. I haven't written for about 2 months, and so much has changed!
Hello! I hope all of you and your families are doing well. I wrote the last time 2 months ago and so much has changed!

Right after the Wekiva Paintout finished life as we know it shut down. Now there is more time for family, baking and drawing / painting. Our business is still going very well, as the sign industry was deemed essential, but I had more time for my art. All my classes were canceled and even though I gave my students online inspiration and homework, it's just not the same. I do miss the interaction!
Immediately after the Wekiva Paintout, life changed. Now there is more time for family, baking and art! Our business is still doing very well because the sign industry has been labeled "essential", but I had a little more time for my art. My art class has been suspended, and while I emailed my students a lot of inspiration and homework, it's not the same ... I miss the interaction!

Anyway, this blog will be more pictures than text. I found a great online course with one of my favorite urban sketchers, Ian Fennelly from the UK. My drawing style changed a bit, and here are all my sketches resulting from this short course. The drawings are more loose and full of energy, and are lots of fun to draw. They are all done in the last 6 weeks, from my own photos. Enjoy!
Well, this blog post will have a lot more photos than usual. I found a great art class from one of my favorite UrbanSketchers, Ian Fennelly from the UK. Now my drawing style has changed a bit and here are all of my drawings as a result of the course. Much looser and full of energy, and it's so much fun! All the following drawings are from the last 6 weeks, made from my photos. Have fun watching!

Schlosscafe, Bad Mergentheim, Germany
Wuerzburg, St. Kilian, Germany
Domstrasse, Wuerzburg, Germany
Schwaebisch Hall, Germany
Gulf Gas station, somewhere in America
Twin house, Bad Mergentheim, Germany
Horse Carriage in Dresden, Germany
Boats in Port Orange, Florida, US
Tropical Street scene (photo from fellow artist)
Just in case you're wondering, I usually start with a quick sketch in watercolor pencil, then ink over with waterproof uniball pen. Then I wash in the watercolors, pretty randomly. With India ink I do all the very dark areas, mostly the windows. I then strengthen all the lines again with more pen lines and create excitement with more watercolor and some splashes.
If someone is interested: I start with a small preliminary drawing with watercolor pencils, then trace the lines with a Uniball pen that contains waterproof ink. Then come the watercolors, very loose. All black areas are then painted with India ink, especially the windows. Then I go over all the lines with the scribe again, and create energy with more water colors and a few splashes.

Til later, Ruth

All the best to all of you, stay safe and healthy!
All the best to you all, health and peace!

Mar 15, 2020

14th Annual Wekiva Paintout

Wow, it's been almost 5 months since my last report!
Wow, it's been almost 5 months since my last report!

A new year has started, I am teaching 4 classes currently at the Artists Workshop in NSB, coordinate the life drawing sessions, went to NYC for a great business trip with Austin, and continue to develop my pen and ink drawing style. So much has happened, but I want to focus on the recent paintout. More of the other stuff in a later post ...
A new year has started, I teach 4 different subjects in the Artists Workshop in NSB, coordinate the sessions with a model, went on a great business trip to New York City with Austin, and continue to develop my ink drawing style. So much has happened, but I just want to cover the paintout here, more about everything else in the near future ...

25 artists gathered at the Wekiwa Springs State Park by Apopka last week to paint the varying scenes. The park has beautiful forests with dark slender pine trees growing between golden fields of long grasses, down the road the crystal-clear waters of the bubbling spring creates a wonderful swimming spot, and Wekiva Island, the bar and fun spot of the Weinaug's who coordinate and sponsor the event, has tall greenery framing the clear Wekiwa river full of turtles, gators, and various birds.
25 artists gathered last week for 7 days at Wekiwa Springs State Park in central Florida to paint the various scenes. The park has a great forest with slender, dark fir trees growing in fields of golden grass, a few steps away the crystal clear water of the Wekiwas gushes out of the ground to form a great natural swimming pool, and Wekiva Island, the bar and entertainment area of ​​the Weinaug's, who organize the paintout, has green trees and water roses that frame the clear Wekiwa River, where turtles, alligators and numerous birds live.


We painted day and night, had great food, lots of sales, and wonderful companionship with the artists who all bunked at the State Park. So much fun!
We paint day and night, had great food, lots of sales, and great company with the artists who were all housed in the huts in the state park. So much fun!

Several afternoons some of us got together and did portrait sessions, forming the "informal" Wekiva Portrait Society ;-) All the "foreigners" of our artist group were painting portraits, our sitters were American. So we had China (Hai-Ou), Ukraine (Olena), Russia (Natalia), Israel (Orit), and Germany (me) at every sitting. It was great to see how everybody approached the portrait differently - I tried watercolors and it was very difficult but satisfying to work with.
Some afternoons some of us gathered to paint portraits. We founded the informal "Wekiva Portrait Society". All of the artists' foreign born painters painted portraits, while the models were American. We had China (Hai-Ou), Ukraine (Olena), Russia (Natalia), Israel (Orit), and Germany (I) in every hour. It was really interesting to see how everyone started a portrait differently - I tried some in watercolor, which is very difficult, but I was pretty happy with my paintings.



Here are my paintings of the week: I did some in oil (traditional brushes and thick impasto with palette knife), and then introduced my pen and ink with wash, which received great feedback.
Here are my paintings of the week: I painted some in oil (traditionally with brushes, and some with thick impasto with the palette knife), and then presented my ink drawings with watercolor, which got good feedback.

Pink Grasses 8 "x8" / 20cm x 20cm oil on canvas

River Morning 8 "x8" / 20cm x 20cm oil on canvas
At the Groves 11 "x14" / 28cm x 36cm
Painting with Michelle Held and Elizabeth St Hilaire at the orange grove.
A reporter came around and photographed me sketching at the bar, then added me to the newspaper article in the Orlando Sentinel. A reporter came over and took pictures of some of us, including me at the bar, and wrote a great report in the Orlando newspaper.



I sold 2 pen and ink paintings, and one is going to be printed on tshirts, available soon at the Wekiva Island gift shop!
I sold 2 of my ink drawings, one of which is printed on tshirts, which can then be obtained in the souvenir shop in Wekiva Island!
Thanks for your interest! Comments are welcome!
Thank you for your interest, I am always happy to receive comments!
Labels: community, drawing, landscape, live model, newspaper article, oil painting, Paintout, Pen & Ink, Plein air, portrait, sketch

Nov 15, 2019

9th Annual New Smyrna Beach Paintout Oct 2019

Me again! Me again!
The 9th Annual NSB Plein Air Paintout commenced in late October, and I finally have time to write about it! It was very successful for everybody.
I was the cover artist, so the painting from last year that was picked for the cover was displayed everywhere ... on brochures, schedules, posters, and those gigantic banners throughout town! How cool ....
The 9th Annual New Smyrna Beach Plein Air Paintout was in October, and now I finally have time to write about it. It was a successful event.
I was the main artist / cover artist, and that's why my painting, which was chosen for the main picture last year, was everywhere ... on brochures, posters, and those huge flags that were put up all over town. So great!


We had 23 artists participating, most from Florida, but also out of state. We all know each other and it's great to get together for such a wonderful event and see old friends to paint with. I discovered that I have participated every year since the first event in 2011!
We had 23 artists, mostly from Florida, attending the event. Since it is already the 9th year, most of them know each other and thought it was great to paint again with old friends. I found out that since the first event in 2011 I have been invited and taken part again every year!
Me, Manon, Natalia and Susie
We had pretty good weather, but it was very humid on most mornings. The wet room / gallery was at our Artists Workshop where I teach and volunteer, right behind Marine Discovery Center. Both groups organized the event and benefitted from the proceeds for their various fundraising and community events - a great cause.
We had pretty good weather, but it was always very, very humid in the morning. The gallery where the (still wet) paintings were hung was in the Artists Workshop, where I do a lot of volunteer work and also teach, right behind the Marine Discovery Center. Both groups organized the event and then got the profit for their own events in the community - always a good thing. As always, the artists get 50% of the sales. On average, images sell for between $ 300 and $ 1000.
Barbara, me, Manon and Michelle
Since I was the cover artist, I was interviewed by the local newspaper and you can click here to see part of this interview on youtube. In addition I was included in 2 newspapers in their printed articles!
Since I was the cover girl, I was interviewed by one of the local newspapers, and you can click here to see part of my interview on video. In addition, there were two photos and a large article of me in two newspapers!
Painting was fun, and I did a couple of switches to pen and ink artwork which was very well received by my fellow artists and the public. I sold almost all the paintings on my wall!
The daily painting was fun, and this time I not only painted in oil, but a few with the ink drawing and watercolor wash over it, which was very well received. Almost all of my paintings on my wall found a buyer!

We had evening paintouts, a sunset gathering where the public could see us all in action at JB's Fishcamp, and several other new events. For the sponsors and patrons we had a private event where 5 selected artists did a progressive painting in a little over 1 hour, that was then auctioned off by the very talented Emcee (and fellow artist) Michelle Held. Natalia Andreeva started the underpainting, then Joe Palmerio took over on the sky, I did a bit of the boardwalk and railings, then Charles Dickinson on the greenery, and Manon Sander finished it off! The reference photo was graciously supplied by a local photographer who was honored to see it painted live! The resulting 22 "x28" oil painting fetched $ 1000 in a raucous auction before it was even finished!
We had some great festivities where the audience could watch. A couple of painting meetings in the evening and one at a restaurant by the river, where we then painted the sunset. For the sponsors we had a private evening, where among other things 5 ​​selected artists painted a progressive painting in less than an hour. Natalia started (actually almost finished painting it haha), then Joe mainly painted the sky, I painted the boardwalk and the architectural things, then Charles the plants and trees, and then Manon put on the last great dots! Michelle entertained the audience with jokes and facts, and helped sell the finished painting for $ 1000.
Progressive Painting: (from left)
Reference photo provide by Renee, Artist Joe, Buyer, Artist Natalia, Emcee / artist Michelle,
Artists Ruth, Charles and Manon

My turn to paint and entertain.
The event also hosted one or two demos each day, where the public was invited to sit and watch, learn and ask questions. Michelle Held started off the week with her demo on painting a live owl that was sitting very patiently for her. I was in the audience and did a quick pen and ink sketch of the scene.
During the week we also had a couple of demonstrations where the audience was invited to sit and ask questions. Michelle Held started with a great demo where she painted a living owl in oil. I was also in the audience and drew the scene, which then found a buyer the next day.

My demo on how to do a value study and what and how to edit an overwhelming scene on location was well received, I had over 30 people in the audience! I love doing demos and got great feedback on my teaching. There was also a photo of me in the newspaper.
I was also allowed to do a demo, I explained and showed how to draw a study when you stand outside in front of a scene that contains far too much. I had over 30 people in the audience! I like to demonstrate and explain, and I got a lot of positive feedback afterwards. Austin filmed me, and a picture of me in action hit the paper.

On the last Saturday we held a community quickdraw, where amateur artists could try their hand on a timed event (2 hours only) and enter the resulting painting in a competition for prices. I was one of the judges and there was some really great artwork! Event the ones who didn't win had fun and I think everybody found respect for the plein air artists, who really have only 2-3 hours to do a painting (as the sun moves drastically in that time frame and changes the whole scene) .
On the last day (Saturday) the community Quickdraw took place, where local hobby painters could start painting a scene in a park in exactly 2 hours. We had 4 judges, including me, and there were some excellent paintings among them. Even the painters who won nothing had fun and could see how difficult it is to produce something beautiful outside in a short period of time. Just like the 23 artists we did all week, because the sun is totally different in 2 hours, and that changes the scene a lot.

The grand finale was on Saturday evening at our studios that looked simply awesome, transformed into a high-caliber gallery! There was a great buffet, wine and drinks, live music, and lots of sales! My painting that was bought last year by MDC and was the cover art was auctioned off and fetched a great price for the event!
The big finale was on Saturday evening in our studios / gallery, which looked really great with all the beautiful pictures and enthusiastic people and artists. There was a great buffet, wine and live music, and a lot of purchases! My painting, which could be seen everywhere and which was bought by MDC last year, was auctioned again and brought in a lot of money again!



Thank you to all the attendees and visitors, students, friends, fellow artists, buyers and sponsors!
Yours, Ruth
Thanks to everyone who attended the event and helped, and for you for reading (hopefully everything) so far.
Your Ruth

Oh, and here are most of my paintings! All sold!
Oh, and here are almost all of my paintings, all sold!

Michelle Painting an Owl 20 "x16" pen and ink / watercolor


Florida Fall Colors 14 "x11" oil on panel

3 Hours after Sunrise (2018) 14 "x11" oil on panel (auction)

This Way to the Docks (2017) 14 "x11" oil on panel

At the End of the Street (2018) 20 "x10" oil on panel
Another Day at the Beach 10 "x8" pen and ink / watercolor

Flagler Avenue 10 "x8" pen and ink / watercolor

JB's Fishcamp 20 "x16" pen and ink / watercolor

And this is the progressive painting 28 "x22" oil on canvas
by Natalia Andreeva, Joe Palmerio, Ruth Squitieri, Charles Dickinson, and Manon Sander
Labels: AWI, boats, city view, community, composition, concepts, demo, drawing, judging, landscape, newspaper article, oil painting, Paintout, Pen & Ink, perspective, Plein air, sketch, Teaching, urban landscape, watercolor