The beginning of all art is love. The value and scope of each art are determined primarily by the artist's ability to love.
- Hermann Hesse
Antje Martens-Oberwelland doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty whether she’s painting or working on her family’s farm in Bruce County, Ontario, Canada. Only when she works with energies, she tries to be as clean and neutral as possible.
A native German, Antje studied at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg, Germany, as well as privately with several artists: an oil painter, a stage designer, and a stone sculptor. Initially known for her powerfully painted oil paintings capturing the essence of her chosen subject, she more recently went back to experimenting with ink, charcoal, gouache and recycled or handmade paper.
High quality is very important to her so that her artwork can be enjoyed by those who buy them for generations to come. She takes care to use only the finest products that have proven over time to be reliable, e.g. using brands like Schmincke, Selennier and Golden, while trying to make her ecological footprint as small as possible. Though she appreciates to being able to browse through art stores and buy ready-made art supplies, she loves to dig through old recipes to figure out how to create painting supplies used centuries ago. For her, art making is more than just applying paint to canvas or paper. It is a sort of alchemy, as fascinating as life itself.
Antje sees herself as a life-long learner; observing the world around her while trying to understand it through painting. Her curiosity in her subject matter and her desire to capture a moment in time, guide her when she applies her knowledge of traditional art techniques with improved methods and sometimes unorthodox practices. To her the painting process is just as important and enjoyable as the finished product, which she hopes the art collector will enjoy as much as she enjoyed creating it.
It is said that the best way to understand something is by teaching it. Whether this is true or not, Antje is passionate about sparking creativity in others. For over twenty years, she’s been instructing art classes for children, teens and adults. You can find out about her current schedule HERE.
Antje has exhibited in group and solo shows as well as in many national and international juried shows, where some of her paintings have been recognized with awards. Many of her paintings and illustrations have also been commissioned and can be found in private collections throughout Canada, in the US, in Germany, Italy and Spain, as well as on book covers. She is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and FCA (Federation of Canadian Artists).
The lesser known facts about her person:
Antje sees emotions, numbers and letters in colour (Synesthesia), which makes calculating in her head or words spelled out to her a quite colourful and sometimes overwhelming experience. On the bright side, life never gets boring for her.
In July 2000, hours after giving birth to her one and only daughter, Antje had a (near-) death experience. Having experienced the struggles of death and the indescribable beauty and bliss afterward in Heaven, she reluctantly decided to return into her body when offered the choice only because she thought she was responsible for her little girl. She regretted her decision almost instantly when she realized that because of her health she couldn’t even care for her baby’s basic needs at the time. – Though “stuck on earth again,” she’s no longer afraid of death but is looking forward to going home one of these days…
Antje can feel other people’s emotions, and symptoms of health issues and grief. She can communicate on a soul level and has been working successfully with energies (energy healing and elemental space clearing) using intention, prayer, the elements and sound to make a positive difference in the lives of clients open to this kind of experience. You can learn more HERE
Antje is a literally re-born Christian and has an intimate relationship with our Mother Earth, our Father in Heaven, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ.