Thursday, May 17, 2018

Berlin - Drawing Museum Island

Whenever I visit a new place, I’m filled with two opposing thoughts. Firstly I want to pack in as much sightseeing as possible, secondly I want to do as much sketching as possible. As sketching requires a certain amount of stillness, striking a balance can be a difficult decision. On a trip to Berlin last month, the hotel where I was staying was in the Spittelmarkt part of the city, quite close to the intriguingly titled ‘Museum Island’ and I had the luxury of a whole day to explore it in my sketchbook.

First stop was Berlin Palace, ‘Berliner Schloss’. Or rather the scaffolding and huge advertising signs which are currently adorning it as is being rebuilt for opening as the ‘Humboldt Forum’. Just like London, Berlin seemed full of cranes and building developments at the moment.

I walked on further to the Bode Museum, which nestles on the end of the island. Handily placed stone seats opposite provided a good view of the imposing building.

It was a lovely hot, sunny day so I stopped for a drink at one of the riverside cafes, where all the music being played seemed to be the soundtrack of my life! In fact, during the whole time I was there, I only heard one German language track and that was a rap song coming from someone’s speaker in the park.

Trying to find some shade where I could sit and draw the cathedral, ‘Berliner Dom’, I perched on a concrete slab in a grassed area to the side of the building. The discovery that the local ants also favoured this spot led to the sketch being curtailed and the swift closure of my sketchbook resulted in the pages sticking together and a slightly torn image.

The last drawing was the old National Gallery, ‘Alte Nationalgalerie’. While I was drawing, a wedding party were taking photographs amongst the grandeur. It was such beautiful weather that I must admit I didn’t venture inside any of the museums that day! 

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