Where the Railroad Ends

October 29, 2016

It is a stainless steel October morning, sky polished to a blue sheen. Sharpened with winter, the wind slices through crisping trees, all the way to where the railroad ends in the heart of the Black Forest: Ottenhöfen im Schwarzwald. With its scolding bell tower, half-timbered farmhouses, and child-eyed cows, my weekend sanctuary looks as if it were stolen out of an illustrated Grimms Kinder- und Hausmärchen. This fairytale forest village in which I wake up was drawn by a firm, certain hand: details finely feathered in walnut ink, colored laid down in veils of oil pastel. Summer’s hues are sun-faded, but Autumn pigments glow with their own fearless luster—amber, sienna, persimmon, terracotta, burnished copper, olive oil, verdigris, dried blood, burnt umber. With her October palette, the illustrator painted Ottenhöfen to life.

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