“Leipzig is a vibrant city chock-full of exciting visual material. I think drawing is a great way to experience a place – to sit and absorb the ambience of a particular location. Leipzig was prime fodder for this! My goal was to fill a sketchbook during our time there with on-site drawings (as opposed to post-visit drawings from photos), and I almost did!”
McGregor led a group of ACU students on a Study Abroad semester to Germany, where they studied the language and culture, while exploring the ideas of famous philosophers, scholars and artists. Enjoy the scenes he captured through illustrations and water colors while he and his wife, Laura (Blake ’95), traveled in and around the 1,000-year-old German city known for its rich history, culture and architecture.
ACU purchases historic villa
During his trip, McGregor received keys to the university’s newest property – a 144-year-old villa in the Music District of Leipzig that will become the hub of ACU’s Study Abroad program in Germany beginning in 2018. See photos and learn more about the villa. Though renovated in recent years, the villa retains its charm with 10-foot ceilings, original crown moldings and decorative woodwork.
His artistic endeavors also drew the attention of a Leipzig newspaper: “I ran into a reporter while I was painting on the street, and she called her photographer and did a story – indicative of the sort of random things you run into in Leipzig!”
This is the first drawing of the semester. It’s a quirky elephant slide at a playground in Palmengarten Park. You basically climb up the elephant’s back, go through a hole in his head, and slide down a slick metal trough in his trunk. This drawing was done during a play break for my son. It was really cold, so I had to work quickly.
We spent a couple of nights in Delphi, Greece (of oracle fame). This is one of the buildings at the ancient Delphi site, the Treasury of the Athenians. I took the students in my Honors Drawing Colloquium there, and we drew as much as we could in two hours. This was done in water-soluble fountain pen and ink wash.
Here’s the picturesque Konig Albert Brücke over the Karl Heine Canal. It’s on what’s basically the San Antonio Riverwalk of Leipzig. This is more of a completed painting than the other stuff – I embedded my stool in a dirt embankment above the sidewalk and painted for a couple of hours.
Leipzig’s lovely Renaissance-era Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall). It’s a polychromatic sentinel overlooking the market square. I wish I’d done this one without an ink underdrawing, but hopefully it’s not too obnoxious, and I like how the sky came out. While I was drawing this in ink, a kind German man stopped by and showed me his journal in which we wrote in old-school dip pen (showed me the pen, too). I’ve found that drawing on the street is one of the best ways to meet locals; I had countless people stop by and chat.