Every so often in life, a series of events happen, that make you think, that something, more than co-incidence has occurred.This is the lasting impression I left Berlin-Schönefeld Airport, with, last Monday evening.
I met Marko Fenske during Art In the Open Festival 2013. Traveling from Berlin he was one of a small number of German participants to take part in AIO, and he certainly left an impression. Wearing his heart on his sleeve, I think I can say with confidence that he endeared himself to all who met him.
In January 2014 after talking about the possibility of such an event, "Plein Air berlin-brandenburg", was formed, and artists were invited to take part. With the help of Plein Eire our Irish Plein Air Networking site, a group discussion began, and dates, times and schedules were arranged. Finally by around March a group of 5 Irish Participants had their tickets booked for the Event.
Leaving at 3am on the morning of May 26th, our conversation in the car went from nervous excitement to an unsettling fear of the unknown. With only some idea of what to expect, (as artists, our imaginations can get the better of us) a list of "what could happen" was slowly being added to, in our day long travels....all in good humor.
Our group was greeted at the airport by Nikoli Kraneis and Lynne Hynnes, who accompanied us on the remainder of our journey. Arriving at Altthymus Haus by around 5pm, we met Angela Voigt, who was to be our "Mother" for the week, and feed us so wonderfully.
I could write 40 pages on our experiences, but I feel, some things live stronger in memory. The wonderful welcome we received, the beautiful unspoiled surroundings, the deep history within the area, the great connection each of the participants had with each other and a series of impromptu events, made it a very special, fun filled and productive week, on many levels.
I can't help but think how lucky, artists, particularly Plein Air Artists are, to have that deep shared appreciation for their environment. It's a common appreciation, which connects us the world over.
No amount of imaginings could have prepared us for our actual experience. We are so often sheltered from the natural rhythms of life, and desensitized to our environment, that what is natural, becomes unnatural.....the unnatural becomes norm..
What was more than co-incidence, was the open hearts each brought to the week, a shared love of our craft, a work ethic, and lightheartedness, respect for all and a common will for a successful week. Testimony to the respect we had for the work Marko, and Nikoli did, in preparing the Event, and making us feel so welcome
Special thanks to : Marko Fenske, Nikoli Kraneis,, Angela Voigt, Lydia Fenske, Ingrid and Gerd, Felix Hinrichsen, Manfred Saborowski, and Gerhard Max Meyer.
And fellow Participants :
- Karen Scannell Irland
- Michael McGuire Irland
- Louise Treacy Irland
- Marko Fenske Berlin
- Hartmut Jammer Berlin
- Diether Münchgesang Berlin
- Lynne Haines USA
- Nikolai Kraneis Berlin
- George McHugh Irland
- Maike Josupeit Berlin
Plein Air berlin-brandenburg
Ravensbruck memorial Site
Facebook - Pleinair berlin-brandenburg
My three exhibition paintings which earned me Second Place in the Event :
An Impromptu Portrait Session with Gerd Ingrid and Felix Hinrichsen ,owners of Altthymus Haus
My Portrait of Gerd
Marko's Artpiece - The Alttymus Haus "Home Oak" - illuminated