End of August my travels brought me to the small town of Berkovitsa in the mountains of Bulgaria to attend Art Fest Berkovitsa. The town lies about 2 hours drive from the capital Sofia. It was a small meet-up of good friends, coming together to paint in the ruin of a planetarium that the communists had abandoned some 25 years ago. Their presence still can be seen in reliefs displaying Lenin and the entire town seem to be built and covered in marble. There were a lot of opportunities to paint: an abandoned hotel complex in the forest for example as well as many more ruins. The festival was perfectly organised and I was very happy to finally be able to wear tee-shirts (after all that rain in Germany and the UK).
The heat made it difficult to paint during the day which gave us many opportunities to enjoy the local shops and cafes (aka beer, salami and a lot of moonshine). At night we would meet up with locals and enjoyed the great music lineup the festival’s organisers had put together or hiked up a hill to enjoy the scenery and a picnic.
Motive-wise I concentrated on painting the corner of a wall with the motive ‘Toy Soldiers’. It shows two groups of identical soldiers facing but not seeing each other. I had painted this motive before at a festival in Magdeburg but being rather unhappy with the outcome then I enjoyed repainting it the way I originally had envisioned it. Here you can find the explanation for this piece.