Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Heike Ludewig - Artist of Distinction

The idea behind Still Point Art Gallery's current exhibition - Still Point II - is to explore things that artists, through their art, choose to hold still. Heike Ludewig, one of the show's Artists of Distinction, paints people. Her work fits so well into this exhibition. A woman and child playing with a dog...a group of women talking while a small dog sniffs the ground...a young person swimming...all of these activities painted, captured, and held still. Ludewig uses her medium brilliantly. With her expert drawing skills and brush technique, the figures in each painting seem caught in the midst of movement. The viewer perceives this movement, motion, activity. Yet, the scene is perfectly still. Ludewig has captured that microsecond of stillness.

Three, Water II

Street VII

 As an Artist of Distinction, I asked Heike Ludewig to tell me some things about her art and her life as an artist. Ludewig lives in Germany, and her primary language is German. Putting her thoughts down in English took her some time, but I am most grateful to her for her efforts. 
I have been painting pictures since I was a little girl. When I finished school I went to the academy of art in Düsseldorf, where I studied painting and education. Today I work a few hours a week as a teacher of fine art in a school in Düsseldorf, and I do my work as an artist. I am married and I have two children - an 8- and a 12-year old.

I strive to show a special atmosphere in each of my paintings. I like to have contrasts in a piece, such as slow/fast, thick oil color/smooth acrylic color, light/shadow. I think contrasts make a piece pleasing and exciting for the viewer. I also like to see the brushstroke.

I often paint my pictures from photographs that I take, so I am very familiar with the subjects of my paintings. But the painting is not an exact replica of the photograph; there is often only one aspect of the photo in the painting. I paint only the part that interests me...nothing else.
The people in my paintings are not shown as individuals with their own faces. The people are shown with a certain pose, but the faces are not at all naturalistic. This way the viewer has the chance to think about the person or scene in an abstract way with his or her own associations and emotions.

As far as materials are concerned, what I use depends on the expression I want to achieve. After some experimentation, I now like using a spray technique using acrylic on backgrounds, which gives a floating and alive feel to the background. I then paint with oil over that, often making it so that the viewer can see the brushstroke...see the "making of" the painting. I very much like that look. Smaller pieces are painted on wood, and larger pieces are done on canvas or linen.

Last year I was very ill for a long time. The illness left me with no doubt that I have to paint. For me art is something that works with my emotions. Every painting I do is an experience and a mirror of the moment.

Three (9x12), acrylic and oil on wood, $950
Street VII (43x20), oil on canvas, $2300
Water II (9x12), acrylic and oil on wood, $950

Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
April 7, 2010


  1. Hi there, This message is for Heike Ludewig - I wanted to know if you also go by "Polly Ludewig"? I have a painting where the girl has no facial features. Thanks so much for your time.

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