Claudia Erbelding

Claudia Erbelding

Location: Germany

The Early Years

Early in my career, I focused on science, studying biology, concluding my scientific career with a postdoctoral position. To realize our dream of a self-sufficient lifestyle, my husband and I purchased a 19th-century farmhouse in Bavaria. We taught ourselves the necessary skills and labored for more than 30 years to complete the extensive renovation. We learned about raising vegetables and children. In addition, I worked in a variety of positions including content manager and web designer.

Beginnings of my Artistic Exploration

In my spare time, I took my first art class in nude portraiture. From then on, I continued to attend courses and improve my painting skills. Beginning with acrylic, then transitioning to oil on canvas, my formats grew larger with each painting. My topics focused on humans and nature. Being surrounded by the natural and spiritual beauty of the Bavarian countryside and European landscapes has been a source of inspiration for my art.

The Painting Process

When I find a natural place that captures my imagination, I snap a photo. Back at home, I use Photoshop to create a collage with the landscape as a background and add, inspirited by feelings evoked by the landscape a figure and other objects I consider important for this painting. Finally, I transfer the photo to a painting, allowing my subconscious to enhance the scene in a way that Photoshop cannot.

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Encaustic is a Greek method of painting. Examples over 3500 years old can be seen in museums throughout the world. Remarkably they look as though they were painted yesterday, without a crack or diminution of color and vibrancy. Encaustic painting, the ancient hot wax process, combines molten beeswax and dry colored pigments. The work is done on a glue prepared panel, using paints consisting of beeswax, dammar crystals, and dry pigments. Paint is applied hot, and manipulated in any variety of methods. The final image is subjected to a heat treatment of the entire surface, known as “burning-in.” Each layer should be fused to the layer previously applied for sound technique. The burning-in process makes encaustic unique from simply adding a waxy ingredient to oil paint. The paint film is a microcrystal in structure that never dries so it cannot darken, yellow, crack or fade. Finished works are among the most permanent of all ancient painting media.

Dandelion “Dandelion”

2015; encaustic on panel; 150 x 80 cm
"A child (me, four years of age) sits at a wall, investigating a dandelion blowball. The painting radiates calmness."

Mantis “Mantis”

2020; encaustic on panel; 40 x 60 cm

This mantis visited us in our holiday residence in Varigotti/Ligurien/Italy. Meeting a mantis is a strange experience. The seem to watch you in a selfconfident way without any fear. And you wonder: "What is it's impression of me"

forest “forest”

2019; encaustic on panel; 130 x 160 cm

"As a biologist I have a strong feeling for nature. That leads to my concerns about the impact of the climate change on nature. Nevertheless in Germany we can still experience forests of deep greens, fresh smells, shadows and sparkling light. The inspiration for the painting ""redheads"" was the red beech illuminated by the bright light, surrounded by shadowed areas.. In the background, light and darkness, side by side. I was very surprized to find the stems of the trees in violett colour."

rose “rose”

2020; encaustic on panel; 60 x 40 cm

This dark rose bloomed at a bush in my garden. I had received the plant for my 30st wedding anniversary from my husband. The bird is original a redthroat but I liked a weeker colour better.

zinnia “zinnia”

2020; encaustic on panel; 50 x 70 cm

The colors of the Zinnia are extremly vibrant. Not only in the time of high blooming but also in the decay it has attractive colors and shape. I always have a large bed with Zinnia every year. I will try to make it a sries with single Zinnia and then there will be the large Zinnia painting this year.