You are on page 1of 8

Karin Richter Fine Art

EARLY Spring 2020

Gentoo Penguins in Antarctica

You will no doubt already be tired of winter but hold on: I am still to report on my travels
to Antarctica as I only returned a month ago! Here are a few highlights:

Flying in from Santiago, the port of Punta Arenas, Chile, serves as the arrival and
departure point and is a nice transition coming in or heading out on the way back home.
PA is a quaint town at the edge of civilization on the Strait of Magellan where hikers and
sailors congregate. I have never seen so many wires!

As previously reported, I spent 6 weeks (3 cruises) on the expedition ship MS Roald

Amundsen as an expedition team member where I did not only teach art and gave art-
related lectures but worked
alongside the team on
landings and other guest
experiences. It turned out to
be a job like no other, with
long hours in sometimes
harsh conditions, however the
rewards were many as I got
to see a place that only few
people get to visit. It is hard
to put it all into words and
only a few pictures can hardly
do it justice but here are
some of my impressions: ICE
is of course a dominant
element and as an artist, I found the shapes ever so interesting and beautiful:
The landscape is divine and the mixture of lava rock and snow and ice fascinating:

The water is clear and icebergs or bergy bits floating by have a translucent, turquoise
quality to them. The wildlife is enchanting and one never gets tired of watching the
creatures that inhabit this place.
The expedition team keeps a watchful eye as guests on shore have to keep their
distance as penguins travel the “penguin highway” from the water to their colonies up
the hill.

On some islands, one finds actual research stations (we could not land due to ice
conditions) or remnants of human activities such as at Deception Island, an abandoned
whaling station on an active volcano offering hot springs, surrounded by ruined giants of
the whaling industry. A haunting but interesting part of history.
We sailed not only to Antarctica but also, on two occasions, passed by the Falkland
Islands before entering the Magellan Strait on the way back to Punta Areans/Chile. The
islands are reminiscent of Newfoundland, peaceful and colourful, a bit of a culture shock
coming from the white continent. The Falklands are home to the majestic albatrosses
who nest alongside Rockhopper Penguins.

If you find my journey interesting, enjoy photography and would like to hear more about
my experience and other artists who have been to Antarctica throughout history, join me
for a talk at the HUB Gallery, Alberta Society of Artists, located on the 2nd floor (NW
entrance) of the Crossroads Market in Calgary on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 2pm.

Travelling can be exhausting but there is no better way to gain perspective on life and
gather reference material for future artwork. I am still processing my experience and
hope to soon experiment with this new subject matter.
Checking my social media on occasion, I see that many of you have worked hard on
your craft. I enjoy seeing all the artwork that was done this winter. My classes have
been back in session for a while now and we enjoy the camaraderie before a group
heads out to the Amalfi Coast/Italy in April, a whole other artistic subject matter. One of
the great mediums to paint with in the outdoors is pastel so if you want to learn or brush
up on your skills, I have a Pastel Workshop coming up Friday, March 20 at Parkdale
Nifty Fifties where I teach regularly. Call (403)283-0620 to inquire or go online at

Further into the spring, I teach two workshops at the Leighton Centre, Calgary, one
being an Acrylics Workshop, April 18 and a Bold Watercolours Workshop May 23.
Check the Leighton site at or call (403)931-3633.
The ICAN Pastel Convention is also happening June3 to 7 in Toronto. Check for more details. Lots of wonderful opportunities to learn from a
variety of instructors.

In my classes, we have worked a lot of not just technique but on a strong statement
which means seeing properly, deciding on what the painting is about and then using
technical aspects such as composition & design and a great colour scheme to convey
our intention. It is as easy as going down the to-do list! So many of us are frequent
“flyers”. While sitting at the airport or another place you need to spend time waiting, it is
fun to observe surroundings, objects, angles etc. in order to build up a bank of visual
memory that comes in handy when tackling the next subject matter.
Spring also means artshows are popping up everywhere. Studying other artists’ work is
one of the best ways to learn, to contemplate what works and not and why.

The last time I was in my studio before I left down south, I played around with new
watercolour techniques. I often feel that going abstract is where I am heading next. I
enjoy the immediacy of some basic strokes to establish a design and then slowly build
up the work. See what I have done so far….still experimenting!

Burst of Energy #3

Let me see what you are up to!

Keep in touch! Have a great spring being creative!

All the best in life and in art!

Karin (403)272-1471

*If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, just e-mail me with “Cancel Newsletter”
in the subject line.