Painting is a process of discovery, and a dialogue between me and the external world. I work from direct observation. Spatial relationships, color interaction and creating a sense of light within my paintings through color, are at the core of my work. I never invent color, but carefully observe the color found in nature and intensify it. My paintings are celebrations of the intrinsic beauty found around us and the joy in the beauty of everyday things. When we no longer notice the magnificence that our world has to offer, when it no longer causes us to contemplate, then we have lost our humanity.
Shoshanna Ahart

 

Biography

Originally from Illinois, Shoshanna Ahart attended Marietta College in Ohio where she received a BA in Art/Honors in Art, with a minor in Theatre in 1984. After working as a graphic designer for several years, she moved to Washington, DC to study painting at American University and graduated in 1990 with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA), Painting. She then opened her Georgetown art studio and during her 15 year tenure as a professional artist in Washington, DC taught painting and drawing; was an invited Guest Artist-Lecturer to a number of institutions, including The National Building Museum; and worked as a freelance properties designer for several professional theatres in the metropolitan area. In September 2003, Shoshanna moved to Eichstaett, Germany (approximately one hour north of Munich) and established the Ahart Atelier. Since 2006, she has been an adjunct professor at Catholic University Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, teaching Painting and Color Theory.

 

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Methodology & Technique

Working from direct observation has always been Ms. Ahart’s preferred method, whether working in the studio or outdoors. For more than 20 years, her favorite subject matter has been historic architecture. She seeks to capture the sense of place of a location. “Places are like people”, says Ms. Ahart. “Each has its own unique character.” However, since moving to Germany, Ahart has become more intrigued with the landscape and nature. Now, natural plant forms often move in and around the geometric forms of the architectural settings. Sometimes, the landscape takes over and replaces the architecture as the subject entirely. As a plein air painter, Ahart works in 4 hour blocks, returning to a site at the same time over a period of days to capture a particular light and mood. An average painting takes approximately 16 hours to complete. When weather doesn’t permit working outdoors, she sets up still life/interiors in her atelier, which are a combination of natural and man-made objects.

pastels

 

Trained as an oil painter, Shoshanna Ahart began working with chalk pastels in 1992 on the advice of her mentor, internationally known American artist, Wayne Thiebaud. Pastel has now replaced oils as her preferred medium. Ms. Ahart uses soft pastels, primarily Schminke brand, on heavy, coarsely textured pastel paper. She thickly layers the color, often spraying between layers in order to apply addition pastel over the previous colors. When the painting is complete a final layer of fixative is applied. Over the years, she has developed a unique pastel technique, which gives her work a painterly quality. “Often the works are mistaken for oils, but they are created with chalk pastel,” says Ahart. “I call them pastel paintings, because whatever my medium – oils, watercolors, pastel – I am painting. I was trained as a painter…it’s how I approach my work.”

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