Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Habe die Ehre!

(pronounced Habedairy, more or less) is a traditional Bavarian greeting or farewell, that literally means "have the honor".  I love the way the phrase rolls off the tongues of the native Bavarians that I've met over here, and I also love the meaning.  It is said with a jovial respect--sort of happy and yet meaningful at the same time, and it seems to me like a badge of mountain-dweller honor to be greeted in such a way.
So thats why I decided to name the cow in this painting "Habedairy".  I made friends with it when I went for a hike with a few of my teammates up to an Alm where we got drinks and ate cheese made at the Alm, presumable from the milk of this cow and her compatriots.  I swatted the flies away from her and rubbed the top of her nose, and then she decided that I was her friend and drooled all over my leg while I took a picture of her.  LOTS of drool.
I just wish that I could have somehow captured in my painting the music of the ringing cowbells echoing across the hillside.  But alas, paint is inadequate for capturing some things.

I'm in Bavaria right now at a training camp with the rest of the U.S. Biathlon team.  We train at the Ruhpolding biathlon stadium, which hosts a world cup every year that thousands of fans attend, and the stadium is a tourist attraction all summer long--every day huge tours come through to watch the biathletes train.  Its pretty weird, especially since most people in the U.S. don't know what biathlon is!
We also get to go running, hiking, biking and rollerskiing on the little roads and trails throughout the area, and I am in awe with the flowerboxes on all the houses, and the sheer number of picturesque farms.  There will likely be more Bavarian paintings to come!

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