Exploring Western Bohemia

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This Spring my girlfriend and I lived in rural Czech Republic for 1 month while I worked on some freelance projects. We had heard about travelling and working in Europe using AirBnB monthly discounts and thought we would give it a try.

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Bêlêc, the village we stayed in, was in Western Bohemia and right inside the national forest park. When not drawing I took the opportunity to do plenty of trail running through the network of forest tracks. Running allowed me to catch the occasional glimpse of Deer in the forest and I think that experiencing these moments had to be the best thing about living so close to the forest!

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A map of the forest is dotted with beautiful medieval castles sitting high above meandering rivers. We were a little bad at public transport and didn’t quite make it to the nearest big castle but we did walk to the ruins of a castle deep in the forest and I got a wee bit overexcited over some medieval cart tracks!

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A lot of our exploring was just time spent wandering around the local villages and nearby town, trying to get a grasp on the local culture and language (neither of which we quite managed!).

But towards the end of our stay, the village was filled with birdsong and in the fields, hedges of white blossom hummed with bees as spring arrived. Although we didn’t quite understand everything that was going on, it was very nice, just to be part of a new and unfamiliar landscape for a month.

Instagram Inspiration

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The inspiration for this gouache painting of a Jazz musician actually came from a conversation I had on Instagram a couple of months ago.

I follow a climbing photographer called Michael Lim and I really love how he tells interesting stories with his photographs, rather than just focusing purely on the climbing action all the time which can become a wee bit boring.  He also takes amazing portraits of individual climbing athletes so please go check out his work if you are into climbing!

I follow his work on Instagram to motivate me to keep pushing my own photography, but one day a street photography piece he had taken appeared in my feed. The pose of the musician in the shot was so good I was really excited and after talking to Michael I just had to make this painting!

I am still quite new to Instagram and so far have had a pretty good time using it but this has to be the most fun thing it has allowed me to do. So thank you Michael for inspiring me to make this piece!