After wandering around Kreuzberg in Berlin, I saw this garden sitting across the street from a church (the garden is behind the old building). Berlin is full of different cultures and combinations that make the exploration seem endless. You can find anything there! After drawing for a couple hours, two young turkish girls ran out of the garden entrance (near the Jaguar). I showed them my drawings but I speak next to no german and not a word of turkish. Luckily they liked the drawing and gave me some delicious nectarines! I met their father, Ali, who spoke good english. He started the farm 28 years earlier with his parents and uses it to feed his family and friends. The garden is a popular tour stop because it was up against the Berlin Wall. He showed me a magazine article but unfortunately I didn’t speak to him long enough to ask life was like then. After showing me the garden and introducing me to his wife, he drove us to his restaurant a few minutes away.
I usually don’t worry so much about likenesses and draw very quickly from observation, but given the language barrier I was afraid they would be offended if it didn’t look like her. She sat still for a looong time, especially for what a child’s sense of time is probably like! I asked her mother to let her know how much I appreciated it. She shared some of her Yum Yum snack with me after seeing it. When you don’t have words, food speaks.
Note: That fly dude in the top right is Ali’s father from the 70s.
I’m kind of doing a 70% observation 30% from memory with some of these drawings, and before I know I’m being too precious with them. Gotta stay loose!