I met Mary Soeldner on a beach in Nantucket. We both had two sons just hitting puberty. I watched Mary as she laughed with her sons as they soaked up the sun and the sea breeze. We quickly struck up a conversation and I had made a new friend. Time passed and we stayed friends. Our sons have grown and Mary now lives in Geneva, Switzerland.
She is an artist and an inspiration.
Her fabulous sons are in the states at University and Mary pursues her passion, art. After she read the first posts of Mit-Schlag, she sent me this reflection. We began Mit-Schlag to encourage those our age to continue to pursue their passion, be it style, decor, books, movies, travel, art…
“I am amazed at the energy one feels when Summer turns to Autumn. There is a bit of a
nip in the air and overnight the colours seem to bounce from viridian, rose, purples,
cadmium reds, ultramarines and lemon yellows to rich burnt sienna, mustard, yellow
ochre, olive green, maroon, pumpkin orange and French Blue. The tranquil growing
season turns to harvest and vacations end and we have renewed our souls enough to
get back to school and or work.
The same goes for artistry. In the Winter we think of all the serious paintings we are
going to attack when the weather becomes warm again, in the Spring we think great
thoughts of where we can go paint that would be warm, colourful, and magical. And in
the Summer we execute the plan, and realize all the research was worth the effort —
and we paint, and sculpt, garden or photograph to capture these all too short glimpses
of time. We visit with friends and explore new foods to store up great memories to get
us through the cold months of Winter.
However, Autumn is different. The air smells different. The hint of coolness hits our
faces as we rug up and spend as much time outdoors as possible. This is a great time
for artists to get out and sketch the surrounds to capture the energy of Autumn life in a
city, almost like the squirrels gather up nuts for renewed sustenance during the Winter
I recently had the fortune of meeting an amazing Street Sketch Artist here in Geneva,
Switzerland and spend the day with him, sketching! His name is Reynald Aubert. He
not only captures the mixed architecture of old and new in his sketches, but he
somehow captures the energy of the pedestrians as they quickly go about their daily
routine. The viewer can feel the movement of his sketched lines and remember the day
spent in Europe via Reynaldʼs “Art with a Passion! “
“INITIATION TO SKETCHING — All-day Workshop in English with Reynald Aubert, a
Geneva Artist renowned for his street sketching…” the advertisement in the American
International Womanʼs Club Hot Line read. I signed up immediately and could not wait
for the day! We met at the appointed time at Cafe des Bastions in the Parc des
Bastions, Geneva on a foggy, chilly Friday morning. After a warm cup of coffee in the
Cafe, Reynald explained his techniques about sketching successfully Perspective and
People. Then off we went to sketch the city.
We started on the Pont de la Machine overlooking the Rhone River watching the morning rush to either get to work, school, or coffee break, as the fog slowly lifted and the city of Geneve awoke before my eyes.
After a wonderful fresh, artfully prepared lunch from a small outdoor Cafe on the Square
des Alpes, we walked over to the lovely Bains des Paquis to begin our second, third and
fourth sketches, overlooking Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) and the Jetee des Paquis. As
we sat in the direct sunlight on the boardwalk of the Bains des Paquis the layers of
clothing peeled off as we sketched the Saint Pierre Cathedral on the far bank. There
were just the three students soaking up all Reynald could impart to us about sketching
and enjoying each otherʼs company and the warm sunshine! Then standing again for
the third sketch in the cool Autumn Shade the Jetty des Paquis and our bonus sketch
and final sketch for the day, the Information Booth for the Bain des Paquis.
The energy of sketching my surrounds, the energy gained from watching my new
friends produce similar yet totally different sketches made me realize that you can take
all the drawing classes in the world and learn to draw, but to capture what you are
seeing and translate this into a visual diary of all the sights, the sounds and the colours
of Autumn all whilst in Black and White Ink — that is the real magic of Street Sketching.
I can say I actually felt some circuit breakers turn on through the tutelage of Artist
Reynald Aubert. Just like the energy of Autumn colours, I feel I can now, with lots more
practice, produce sketches that capture the Energy of living in a European City.
For more about the artist, Reynald Aubert, please visit his website at:
www.reynaldaubert.com and you can watch him create several sketches on Youtube –
Ground Zero, NYC and San Francisco are just some of the available short videos.”