Do dinosaurs love flowers? We think that in this case, we have proof. Andreas Karlstetter a hyper-talented technical artist draws dinosaurs for the Jura Museum in Eichstaett, Germany. His drawings captivate and transport you to another world, but the one thing he loves even more than dinosaurs is his incredibly talented wife, Shoshanna. Shoshanna moved from Washington DC to Eichstaett to marry Andreas ten years ago. Shoshanna works in pastel and does beautifully textured landscapes and flower paintings. Her work is vibrant, it shimmers, like a memory of the perfect summer day. The pastels are so thick and tactile that one could be forgiven for thinking they are oils. Shoshanna and Andreas worked steadily for several weeks here at Bordeneuve this summer and here is a selection of their artwork, as well as some reflections on time spent in an artist retreat. Shoshanna’s work can be viewed more extensively at her website: www.ah-art.com. She and Andreas have upcoming shows in Germany and more information can be found on her site as well as on the Jura Museum site: www.Jura-Museum.de.
Why, people often ask, would one go out of one’s way – sometimes thousands of miles — to do what one can do “at home”? Still others ask why one would want to “work” on vacation.
For me and my husband, our “work” is our passion. In our daily lives, like many artists, we do not have the time to truly concentrate on our craft because of other constraints. So an artist residency is a break from daily chores that demand our energy and sap our concentration for our work. It is…a gift of TIME.
There are many types of residencies, some with a lot of participants or requirements for interaction, but Bordeneuve is not one of these. Bordeneuve is unique because it is like visiting friends who are interested in you, but make absolutely no demands for your time. Everything is, as you like. It is a completely individualized residency, which caters to one’s own needs and best practices for one’s work. It IS a gift of time: time to contemplate; to seek new ideas, new inspiration, to be inspired by or commune with nature. It is also the gift of solitude, of being alone to challenge oneself…to indulge oneself…to question one’s self. It is the time and privacy to explore new ideas, new possibilities without criticism in a quiet, peaceful, and beautiful environment.
My work is based on my response and my interaction with my environment. I fell in love with Bordeneuve! Everywhere I turned I saw another painting. Places are like people and through the act of painting, the character of places is revealed to me. The light, the colors, the atmosphere of Bordeneuve and its landscape were all so inspiring. I spent 6 to 7 hours a day outdoors painting with chalk pastels. I felt that I couldn’t paint fast enough to capture this wonderful place. My husband, Andreas worked indoors upstairs in the huge atelier space on a new series in preparation for an exhibition at the Jura Museum in Eichstaett, Germany. Featured in his scientific reconstructions — incredibly detailed pencil drawings — are the maniraptora, a group of medium sized predatory and plant eating dinosaurs, from which modern birds evolved.
Bordeneuve is lovingly cared for and nurtured by Noelle. That sense of care is evident everywhere: the flowers attracting a myriad of butterflies, which are planted around the grounds; the vegetable garden from which she creates wonderful meals for her guests; the attention to detail in the barn atelier/accommodations; and, of course the love she gives to her beautiful cats. All of this creates an atmosphere conducive to relaxation, contemplation and creativity. Noelle and Karl take wonderful care of you. And you are left to pursue your creative endeavours.
Shoshanna Ahart and Andreas Karlstetter