Exhibition: At the shore

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Einladungskarte - Am Wasser

Exhibition at the Galery Levin, Holm-Seppensen

Exhibition opened from 5th til 19th November 2016:
Monday to Friday — 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Samstags und Sonntags — 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Vernissage Samstag, 5. November, 3 p.m.

Kunstraum Galerie Levin
Buchholzer Landstraße 62
21244 Holm-Seppensen

In this exhibition I will show pastels ans oil paintings as well from my time at the different places at the shore.


Plein Air at the harbor or what not to do

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Photo Marc Volquardsen, 2016

We had a celebration of a part in the harbor which turned 150 years old. It was the first artificial built port basin and known for it’s innovative steam operating cranes.

I fell for the green boats of the old sail ships and I promptly tapped into a trap: I didn’t give myself enough time from the start for the fast changing light and picked a much to big format in that situation. What a flop. Frustration hit bad and I didn’t loose it that easily.

But these are the moments where you learn the most.

Driving home frustration still sat in my co -drivers seat but when it wanted to enter my threshold I kindly asked him to stay outside.



Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord

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Foto: Marc Volquardsen , 2016

The Thyssen Ironworks in Duisburg-Meiderichclosed colsed down in 1985 and ended an area of industrialization in Western Germany. Luckily there were man with visions and two architects had the idea to transform this industrial site into a combined industry/landscape park. I have never seen or experienced something like this before. I mean where are you able to enjoy a view from the blast furnace?

They have found a combination of art and music events to sport. Ever dived in an old gasometer or went on a climbing garden on one of the blast furnace? Go, have a look on their website and see what all is going on there: Landschaftspark: (It’s in English)

In the evening the whole experience is topped by a light instillation that draws photographers like mots to the light.



Foto: Marc Volquardsen , 2016

Well, I decided for this time to stay on the ground and do a perspective sketch of the blast furnace.


Foto: Marc Volquardsen , 2016

I had no idea that there was a climbing garden on top of the blast furnace. I almost fell of my stool when I spotted people up there.



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Magellan Terassen, Sketch,

Canson Art Book 180 (A4), Technical pencil .5/ 2B

Astrid Volquardsen, 2016

The upcoming weeks I won’t be able to go to my usual plein air hunting ground, because of some bad traffic we will face at my hometown. So I have to adjust and turn to parts of the harbor city with it’s beautiful old ware houses.

Before I turn this into oil or pastel paintings I felt I needed to take a closer look at the perspective and came across the fantastic Stephanie Bowers. She shows her approach to perspective in  her online Video Workshop  at Craftsy and how this principle can be easily adjusted to outside sketching.

Right now the weather is beautiful but for my liking there’s too much blue in the sky ( no clouds), so ideal weather to just sit down and sketch. Back to basic, no color involved.


At the end I almost had a game stopper. At one point some photographers and models showed up and one of them was holding a reflector high up in the air, right in my eye sight.

Luckily I was almost done.


Foto: Astrid Volquardsen


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.



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