Arrived!

speyer-river

View of Speyer across the river

Well, it’s not far short of two years since I first heard about the Speyer scholarship. I’d been working into the evening at the studio in September 2008 when I had a knock on the door and three visitors from Germany came in to see my work. One of them, a chap called Markus, was a member of the Speyer Kunstlerbund and before leaving, told me all about the annual scholarship ….and asked if it was something I’d be interested in…..and I said ‘yes’. The rest, as they say, is history, and two weeks ago I travelled out with my partner Anita. She’s joining me for the first couple of weeks to help me find my way around….and hopefully have a bit of a holiday too.

Being very unused to air travel and all the rigmarole of checking in, security and departure gates …we decided to give ourselves plenty of time. Our flight to Frankfurt left Edinburgh at 1.45pm and so, just to make absolutely sure you understand, we left Irvine at 8.30 am!

It was all a bit strange at the airport but even going at a snails pace we still had time for a leisurely pint, a leisurely look through the bookshop and a leisurely lunch ….and still had a fair wait at the departure gate ….so no rush! The flight was great and luckily Nita had a window seat and took her duties as guide to heart …giving me a full description of everything she could see below. This though lapsed as we came in to land at Frankfurt and my surprise as we touched down was only exceeded by Nita spotting a fox wandering across the grass at the side of the runway ….street wise or what?!

Two of the members from the Kunstlerbund had very kindly driven to the airport to meet us and so we had a great welcome and were driven in style to Speyer and the Kunstlerhaus where I am to live and work during my stay. As we approached Speyer the skies darkened, lightening flashed and the rain started to fall ….quite an arrival although sadly the grand view of the magnificent cathedral as you approach the city, was blotted out by the weather …but it was very dramatic all the same.

When we arrived at the Kunstlerhaus, several other members of the group were there to greet us and we celebrated the start of the scholarship with a glass of wine. The Kunstlerhaus itself is wonderful. It has its own small courtyard and two big light studio / gallery rooms. Upstairs I have a flat and all has been provided for a very comfortable stay over the summer. The fine hospitality didn’t stop there though and we were taken out to a local restaurant for beer and a very fine meal …wow!

By the time we got back we were both pretty tired. It had been a long but very enjoyable day …I lay awake in bed not quite believing I was actually in Germany and set up so well for a full summer of painting. All my gear arrived ok as did the materials I’d ordered …so I have no excuses now!

My studio in Speyer Sämergasse

My studio in Speyer Sämergasse

Watch this space!

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