Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirit in Oilpainting

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I just used once a common solvent for cleaning my brushes and it left me with  terrible headache. Luckily in my very beginning as an oil painter I met Gary and he gave me a priceless tip.

Here is the info from Gamblin website.

GAMSOL Odorless Mineral Spirits

Gamsol is the safest solvent that allows oil painters to utilize all traditional painting techniques without compromise.

Primary Uses for Gamsol:

  • Thinning oil colors. A little goes a long way; stiff oil colors relax immediately when a little Gamsol is added. Be careful not to thin oil colors too much with solvent alone, this can compromise the ability of the paint to form a paint film.
  • Modifying painting mediums. Our Galkyd line of painting mediums are formulated with Gamsol, so they readily accept Gamsol as a thinning agent. Note: Gamsol should not be added to painting mediums made with natural resins (dammar, copal, mastic). They require strong solvents such as turpentine.
  • Studio clean up: brushes, palettes, palette knives, etc.

How does Gamsol achieve this level of performance and safety? Most solvents available to artists come from the industrial paint industry where solvent power and cheapness is prized. Gamsol is special: it is made for products and processes that come into more intimate contact with the body such as cosmetics, hand cleaners, and cleaning food service equipment.

Gamsol is a petroleum distillate but all the aromatic solvents have been refined out of it, less than .005% remains. Aromatic solvents are the most harmful types of petroleum solvents.

These facts are detailed in the SDS for Gamsol, this document shows that it has an Exposure Limit Value higher than most solvents available to artists. In addition, Gamsol’s flash point is so high it can ship via air cargo as a non-hazardous material.

All of these factors have lead to Gamsol being used widely in oil painting classrooms; in those classes there are no solvent odors, only the wonderful smell of oil colors.



Plein Air at the warehouse district

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Hold tight: Different colors!

Just opposite the Maritim Museum stands this beautiful peak of a lighthouse. No idea where they did collect this one.


20160814-HamburgLighthouse, 24×30cm, Öl auf Karton, Astrid Volquardsen, 2016


Gerstaecker stellt den Vertrieb von Unison Pastellen in Deutschland ein – Wo man jetzt Unison kaufen kann

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Sorry, this entry is only available in German. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

Leider musste ich diese Woche feststellen das der Gerstaecker Versand in Deutschland den Vertrieb von Unison Pastellen einstellt.

Das ist äußerst bedauerlich, da genau diese Pastelle weder in Qualität noch in ihren typischen Eigenschaften durch ein anderes zu ersetzen wären. Das Hauptunterscheidungsmerkal eines Pastells ist neben des Pigmentanteils, der Härtegrad. Unison Pastelle füllen genau eine Lücke, die so nicht zu ersetzen ist.

Neben der absolut fantastischen Farbskala, die genau auf die Bedürfnisse eines Pastellmalers abgestimmt sind. Dieses Marke ist eines meiner Hauptarbeitspferde.

Aber gut, was hilft lamentieren.

Ich habe mich mal umgeschaut und es gibt die Alternative in England online, auch einzelne Sticks aus dem gesamten Sortiment, zu bestellen.

Bei The Art Shop gibt es den einzelnen Stick für ca. 3, 20 Euro. Porto beträgt ca. 15.- Euro. Was gegenüber dem deutschen Versand ca. 10 Euro mehr sind. Es kommen momentan noch keine Zollgebühren hinzu, da der Brexit für die nächsten zwei Jahre noch nicht vollzogen ist. Es lässt sich bequem bestellen und per Pay Pal online bezahlen.

Ein anderer Anbieter, welche die volle Farbskala verkauft ist The Art Shop Skipton.

Dort kostet ein Stick momentan knapp unter drei Euro, Porto ist ca. 10 Euro mehr gegenüber dem Gerstaecker Versand. Die einzelnen Preise unterliegen den Kursschwankungen.

Lieferzeit bei beiden ist ungefähr eine Woche.

Es kamen schon Hinweise in den Kommentaren, wo man sonst  noch Unison in Deutschland kaufen kann. Jeder Hinweis ist erwünscht, auch gerne kleine Kunstgeschäfte.


Es kam nochmal ein Hinweis von einer Leserin, welche die Firma Dirk Weber in Bonn/ Deutschland angeschrieben hat und das Versenden auf Rechnung bzw. beim ersten Mal Vorkasse ist kein Problem. Also für alle, die online und mit PayPal noch nicht so befreundet sind eine gute Möglichkeit in Deutschland weiterhin Unison Pastelle kaufen zu können.




Exhibition Pastel En Perigord in France

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I feel very honored to have been asked to exhibit along 104 international artist and 312 paintings on the show. I participate with three pastel paintings, one of them from my harbor series.


In the dock, 20×20cm, Pastel, 2016 Astrid Volquardsen


The beautiful exhibition space at Saint Aulaye, 2016

Don’t miss it if you’re happen to be in the region of South Charante/ North Dordogne at Saint-Aulaye

Until the 21 of August 2016.

For further information::


Sailing lessons

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Optitraining im Mühlenberger Loch, 30×50cm, Oil on linen,
2016 Astrid Volquardsen

1000.- Euro (ohne Rahmung)

I am back to my beloved hometown river, doing a lots os plein air studies. This year we have lots of rain and thunder stormes but they also bring these beautiful cloud formations.

This painting was done after a plein air study back in the studio.

In this past week I have had the feeling that something is happening in my oil paintings and that all the hard work has paid off. This is a message to all those people out there who are trying to reach a next level, no matter in what field.

Persevere, hold on to your goal and always remember: Sometimes it takes time but it will come eventually.



Plein Air: View from Op’n Bulln

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My original plan for this year was to travel to the Baltic sea but this year it wasn’t meant to be (nothing serious). Life goes on and I had to change my plans and this means back to the beautiful river of my hometown. It will be the next subject for my upcoming exhibition in November as well.

Today I had some kind of breakthrough. The fundament was laid in the months before and my endlessly going out to paint plein air. But on my last trip to St. Peter Ording it dawned on my that I might be finally able to take the next step and choose a bigger format. Well, what can I say. It’s a challenge, but the format suits the landscape so much better.



View from  Op’n Bulln, 30×60cm, Oil on canvas, Astrid Volquardsen 2016


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