Life & Art. The Art of Living.

My interest for arts and painting started in early years, promoted by good arts teachers at school. After school, I studied one year architecture at the Technical University in Aachen, including education in various drawing techniques, perspective and colour rules. I took various courses in water colour techniques in Cologne, Oslo and on the Lofoten islands, and in oil painting at the Folkeuniversitet in Oslo. From 2007 to 2016, I painted regularly with Dag Vatle, primarily with oil and acryl colours. In 2017, I learned modern water colour techniques from inspiring teacher Karin Keane. Since 2016 I rent an atelier together with others interested in painting.


I have been on various trips to interesting painting destinations with a group of Norwegian "painting ladies", which I was happy enough to meet in 2003. Besides inspiring each other in ways of painting, we enjoy our company or explore the beautiful nature and culture at the travel destinations and go hiking. Preferred places are the Lofoten islands where everything started, the Helgeland coast / Polar Circle region, but we also have been to Normandie, Madeira and Kreta.  


My preferred themes are Nordic and Arctic landscapes and seascapes, but I also try to explore themes such as urban architecture and street life or whatever comes into the mind. In recent years also experimented in a more abstract way. My main goal is to become more abstract, but at the same time transfer the great lights, moods and atmosphere of Nordic landscapes in my paintings. 


Not astonishingly, thus my preferred artists and styles are expressionists such as the German expressionists ("Die Brücke", Emil Nolde), and especially the Canadian "Group of Seven", who produced great Canadian landscape painting. Further impressionists, especially Claude Monet, the Skagen and similar painting colonies such as in Swedish Rackstad or German Worpswede. Single preferred artists are Edvard Munch, Gerhard Richter, Emil Nolde, David Hockney, Ørnulf Opdahl (half abstract pictures of dramatic Norwegian landscape and light).  Or get inspiration from other Norwegian painters such KåreTveter (the "Svalbard painter"), Dagfinn Bakke (northern seascapes, Hurtigruten scenes), Karl Erik Harr (northern seascapes/fishing), Kåre Espolin Johnson (e.g. Lofoten fishermen), Peder Balke (dramatic Nordic landscapes), and many more. Else I never stop wondering in how many ways and styles people can express themselves, so there is always something new to learn.


When not painting, I am a fulltime employee in the maritime sector, primarily doing statistical analysis in marine insurance. A perfect match, with ships and the sea being another great interest of me, and allowing me to work in an inspiring international environment. 


Astrid Seltmann