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October 2019

- The Zeesboot -

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Time without end, good weather, alone and undisturbed. Isn't that a nice life? I am at the Baltic Sea and sitting in a Zeesboot, a type of sailing ship. It glides calmly over the water, the red-brown sails inflated by the wind. The reed-covered shore passes by, the thatched farmhouses elude my gaze one by one. Only a church steeple looms over the treetops. Our captain tells stories from the peninsulas Fischland and the Darß, the fishing on the Bodden lagoon, the former life of the people at the sea – from ship building, the trade routes, the saltpetre tours to overseas. Or he is silent. With half closed eyes I blink into the sunshine and enjoy it. So, we sail almost silently, accompanied only by the splashing of small waves on the ship’s side, over the water.

The very next day I am drawn to the harbour of Ahrenshoop early in the morning. There the Zeesboot lies at anchor. I unpack my painting equipment and paint its hull. The first day trippers come and take a seat on the boat. Now I concentrate on the people, paint one, then the other. Much too quickly the anchor is pulled in, the lines are released, the sails are set. The boat quickly picks up speed and has vanished from my view – I have hardly sketched the striking sails. Now I can only wait for its return. I make myself comfortable, have a coffee in the restaurant, watch the hustle and bustle in the small harbour. Then I lie down on the meadow for a while, sit on the quay wall, paint the thick reed, blink into the sky. Ah, the Zeesboot comes back, but the sails are already pulled in. Now I have to wait until the next boat tour starts. That takes time. So I eat lunch, lie in the sun again, watch the clouds, paint a duck on the water. At last it is finally time! Day trippers take a seat in the boat, the anchor is lifted, the sails are set. And now my brush sweeps over the paper, catches the red-brown sails with colours, before the boat escapes my gaze again. Satisfied with myself and the world I pack up my painting equipment, eat a fish sandwich. Then I continue to the sea and to the next painting.

Such beautiful days are rather rare. Because almost always it is an idea too windy, too cold, too hot, too sunny, too cloudy to paint. And time without end – when do you have it?

 

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