I have taken a break from blogging

I didn’t realize how long I hadn’t blogged, but to reassure you: I am doing well. The impact with my brain tumor was more severe than I thought.  Well, how was I supposed to know? I’m leading a different, no less beautiful life now. But it takes aaall soooo horribly loooong and I don’t have the strength and stamina to spend more than 2-3 hours (yet !) on my art.

In addition, we all work in the home office. If it blinks here, or someone blows his nose or laughs, it can mess up my synapses to such an extent that it hits my concentration.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. It’s just that there’s nothing to show for it. I have (felt) worked my way through all the watercolor papers, on which surface I feel most comfortable with gouache and with which I have the strongest expression. I didn’t realize the amount of papers out there!

Also, I have little interest in landscape paintings at the moment. The challenge now is figurative, with text – I want my paintings to tell stories. Leaning on my sketchbooks. That is now to find out, to approach, to compose and everything in sooo looooong steps. Well, patience has never been my strong point.

Besides, the time when I’m sitting in the coffee or somewhere else is not possible right now either. So I sit in a warm room and sketch from my iPad. Gesture is the big topic right now. It also trains the wrist and shoulder.


My husband was just rummaging around and I asked him for a nice closing sentence.
He: »And I can’t think of the nice closing sentence right now.«

From the life of a stoker



From the life of a stoker
Last weekend we were on the road again with our Pino (tandem). I am called the stoker because I only support the propulsion, but have no influence on the course. Only the captain, i.e. the one who guides the steering wheel, has that.

With fanfare we plunge into unknown terrain. In the end, I was surrounded only by green.

The Treasure Hunters

I don’t know what it’s all about that all of a sudden so many people are running around with metal detectors. Maybe I’m also missing the thrill of the excitement until the moment when the »treasure« reveals itself.

Die Schatzsucher. Astrid Volquardsen
The Treasure Hunters, Gouache, 20×20 cm, 2021, Astrid Volquardsen


These 2 »treasure hunters« were obviously focused on collecting lost money.

I think I heard her grumble something like this after a closer inspection, »Nah, not after all.« From his posture it was not possible to conclude great enthusiasm anyway. She, on the other hand, was full of eagerness.


So, I’m taking a PAUSE with blogging.
I’m taking a digital workshop with Tiffanie Mang for 8 weeks! So I won’t post until the beginning of May.


Maman, regarde! (Mom,look!)


It was a long time ago, but I remember it clearly as if it were yesterday.

Maman, regarde! (Mum, look!), Gouache, 20×20, Astrid Volquardsen, 2021

It was a hot day outside the Louvre in Paris and we were waiting to be admitted to the Musee de l‹Orangerie. (Claude Monet’s infamous works of water lily paintings are on display there).
Time to pay attention to what was happening around me. Immediately this girl caught my eye. She was playing in the sand, lost in thought, only to jump up with a leap and shout »Maman, regarde!« (Mum, look!) to draw attention to her treasure.


Westminster Abbey Choir

Westminster Abbey Choir, 20x20, 2020
Westminster Abbey Choir, 20×20, 2020, Gouache, 2020, © Astrid Volquardsen

In May 2013 (my God it was a long time ago) I was sitting in the portico of Westminster Abbey’s cloister. It was so quiet and secluded from car traffic there, interrupted only by the bustle of the Westminster Abbeys Choir. One look from the choirmaster and the three boys immediately fell silent and then disappeared into a side entrance.

Devoutly I sat there listening to their singing through the cloister wall.

To all my readers I wish a happy and reflective Christmas.


The mixture makes it (#1)


Sketchbook, Astrid Volquardsen, 2020

A large wide field are color mixtures from different manufacturers. There is no wrong and right here.

There is one exception that I would like to make: Here, too, it depends on the pigment quality. There is no cheap pigment for .-99 Euro for a 100 mm tube. Full of fillers that just beat on the quality. There is simply not and my experience in pastel and oil painting confirm this. Less is more. To the statement that it is only a matter of trying out, my reply comes: »What if it is the technique with which you feel most comfortable, you would make the most progress, but you fail because of the pigments?« That would be a real shame and a wasted opportunity.

The paper quality is written on a completely different page, ( here you should pay attention to acid-free quality), but it really depends on what effect you want to achieve and especially what you feel comfortable with.

I always do preliminary studies on the main colors on the appropriate papers I use. My new discoveries are HelioGreen (Horadam) and SAP Green.(Winsor&Newton)


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