Churches make some of the most beautiful and fascinating architectural subjects. To the left is Nikolaikirche in Leipzig, an interesting amalgam of styles, as are so many other European churches, as succeeding generations added and rebuilt. Styles include Romanesque (foundations c.1165), late Gothic (additions c. 1525), and the interior of the church (c. 1797), which is lushly ornamented in a Baroque style. Nikolaikirche is famous for the prayer services and demonstrations in the 1980s where thousands protested against Soviet rule. In my sketch, I emphasized the unusual angles created by all the later additions to the church.
To the right is Thomaskirche in Leipzig, where J.S. Bach was cantor and director of music for 27 years. We heard two concerts there, including chamber music, and an organ and choral concert-- unforgettable! I recently read Evening in the Palace of Reason by James Gaines, about Bach and Frederick the Great. During his time at Thomaskirche, Bach had constant battles with the Leipzig city directors and it was sad and very surprising to learn how unappreciated he was by his employers during his tenure. It was only later, long after his death, that Leipzig embraced him, going so far as to move his grave from a cemetery outside the city to the church. Here again you can see the combination of styles, from Romanesque to Gothic. I really loved all the spires and chose to sketch the church from a vantage point that would show all of them.
On January 29, 2012, I'll be teaching a one day workshop on travel journals at Daniel Smith Artist Materials, and I'll be sharing different methods for sketching and painting.