Artist’s Statement

Astrid VolquardsenI am fascinated by the light conditions of the countryside, particularly in Northern Germany. I grew up in Hamburg so I am used to the rugged countryside and sometimes bleak weather and light conditions. The light in northern country landscapes is very special and it is indescribably beautiful. It touches my soul and opens up my heart when I visit the coast and feel the elemental force of the sea.
As opposed to my seascapes, I am very interested in the closely cropped views of the harbor and its endless diversity of shapes and colors.

With pastel painting l have found the ideal medium to artistically and creatively transform these special conditions of illumination. I love to spread pigment on paper without anything else in between.

Pastel paintings come alive when you put different layers of colour on the canvas. This is a great artistic stimulus for me. Which combination of colour pigments can be used to achieve precisely the effect of light and shade that I want? During the artistic process, layers of colour are continually built up and removed until the light situation has been captured and the picture can unfold its unique illuminating power.

My paintings develop as a result of direct observation on location which I capture in sketches and photographs. If possible, I set up my easel and use a small selection of pastel colours and paint “plein air” (in the open air). However, this is not always possible so most of my pictures are produced in my studio.


Biographical data

1969
born in Hamburg

1991 until 1998
completed graduate teacher training course at the Technical University and Academy for Fine Arts in Brunswick/Germany, and at the College of Higher Education in Bath/England.

1998
Second State Examination (Final University Examination)


Exhibitions

2016
At the Water, Galerie Levin, Buchholz

2016
Pastel En Perigord/ Pastels Salon International Saint-Aulaye

2016
Plein Air Symposium, Berlin Brandenburg

2016
Group exhibition, Elbschlossresidenz, Hamburg

June 2015
Nocturne – When night comes, Reepschlägerhaus, Wedel

January 2014
Group exhiition at the »Elbschlossresidenz« Hamburg

July 2014
Group exhibition in Hamurg: Maritime scenes

June to September 2013
Galerie Chaco, Zeise Halle, Hamburg-Ottensen

June 2013
Pastel Society Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries London

May/June 2009
Exhibition entitled »Hallig- und Inselwelten – Föhr, Amrum, Sylt sowie die Halligen« (The Hallig Islands and surrounding Islands – Föhr, Amrum, Sylt and the Hallig Islands) in Wyk auf Föhr/Germany.

April 2008
Exhibition entitled »Im Land der Horizonte« (In the Country of Horizons) in Lüneburg/Germany.

March 2008
Exhibition entitled »Ein Tag am Meer« (A Day by the Sea) in the Ralf Scherfose Gallery in Kassel/Gemany.

April/May 2007
Exhibition entitled »Föhr – Zwischen Himmel und Meer« (Föhr – between the Sky and the Sea) in Wyk auf Föhr/Germany.

November/December 2006
Participation as guest artist at an exhibition of the Northern German Realists entitled »Wenn es Abend wird…« (When Evening Comes …) at the art dealer’s St. Jürgen in Flensburg/Germany.

November 2006
Exhibition entitled »Pastell & Meer« (Pastel & Sea) in Bardowick/Germany.

November 2004
Exhibition from the series »NordLichter« (Northern Lights) in Bardowick/Germany.

September 2003
Display of works with paintings from the series »NordLichter« (Northern Lights) in Hamburg/Germany.


Private Collections

in Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, Great Britain and the USA


Awards

2015 Pastel 100 competition; Honarable mention

2013 Daler & Rowney Award, Pastel Society Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London

2013 Bronze Medal Award Pastel Journal


Publications

»Pastel 100 Bronze Award«
Pastel Journal, March 2013

»Home at Sea«,
Pastel Journal, August 2011

»Northern Light«
Interview in the pastelscribbler, newsletter of the Pastel Guild of Europe, February 2011

»Faszination Pastellmalerei« (Fascination Pastel Painting)
boesner TV, 2010

»Nordische Landschaften« (Northern Landscapes)
Künstlerportait bei boesner TV, 2010

»À Decouvrir 13 pastellites internationaux« (Discovering 13 international pastel artists)
Pratique Des Art, Nr. 91/2010

»Pastell im Licht des Nordens« (Pastel in the Light of the North)
Artist’s Portrait in the journal »Palette«, May 2009

»Im Bann der Kreiden« (Charmed by Crayons)
Article in the magazine »Art & Graphic«, December 2007

»Malen mit leuchtenden Pigmenten – Faszination Pastellmalerei« (Painting with illuminating Pigments – Fascinating Pastel Painting)
Article in the magazine »Art & Graphic«, September 2006