Nina Groth’s Hamburg paintings let you rediscover Hamburg – regardless of whether you are from Hamburg or have spent an unforgettable weekend trip over there. The liveliness of the works allows you to immerse yourself in the landscape and pause for a moment. You discover atmospheric corners of the city through the eyes of the artist. Give yourself the freedom to go on a discovery walk in one of the harmoniously arranged artworks of the “Tribute to Hamburg” series, to recognize paths and perspectives and to take the Hamburg feeling with you. Each individual picture in the series is created in numerous steps. Here Nina Groth reveals the central steps of her working method.
Preparation: Research and photo trips
Research and photo walks precede each motif. On discovery walks, the artist experiences Hamburg just like other places herself – and often enough in new ways. She captures moods and brings photos from Hafencity, Sankt Pauli, the port or the city center around the town hall. In doing so, Nina Groth absorbs special perspectives, the texture and the color of the buildings. She allows the cityscape to take effect. Later, these impressions and feelings flow into the work. The painter often reassembles what she has seen and experienced in the painting. The result is an atmospheric image of Hamburg that plays with the themes of freedom and perspectives.
Decision: motivating text messages
When Nina Groth starts developing a Hamburg painting, there is a decision to be made: with or without a collage or text element. There is a positive, motivating word or message hidden in many of Nina Groth’s works – sometimes partially legible, sometimes hidden in the underlying layers, but nonetheless existent. The messages unfold their effect layer by layer. They are, for example, “life”, “ease”, “freedom to make decisions”, “dare something new” or “just be happy”. Upon request, Nina Groth will incorporate personal messages into commissioned work. They support the individual path of the viewer and act as a reminder of personal goals and wishes.
Smoothed over – and not painted
Nina Groth does not paint, she mainly uses spatula. Painting knives and spatulas are her paint brushes. The artist’s landscapes are wide and open – limitless. The buildings are only hinted at. They seem light and are never depicted as monumental. Nina Groth’s spatula technique – sometimes combined with other techniques and materials – enables the artist to create paintings in spaces in a way that no paint brush could. The works offer something that is clearly recognizable, but they are also open to interpretation. The images move in an intermediate space, in openness, in suggestion. It is precisely these intermediate worlds between the representational and the abstract that create the special flair of the works.
The elaboration of the details
The artist gradually develops her motifs. In individual layers, she moves from the rough to the fine. First the rough structures emerge, then the fine details. The details are what make the motif look very lively afterwards. Lights, reflections, subtleties that can only be discovered on closer inspection make the motif unique and complex. No painting is like the other. Every composition, every color mixture and every color combination is individual and unique. The layer painting technique and the use of spatula not only provide depth and atmosphere in the picture, but also a detailed feel.
Finishing: finally the varnish
Nina Groth usually works on different paintings at the same time. The works stimulate each other. The artist works out the details over weeks – sometimes even months. Again and again she discovers little things that she would like to add or remove. This is how a work is gradually rounded off. At the end of this process there is finally the finish. Nina Groth puts the finishing touches to her work with various varnishes. The varnish makes the surface of the artwork less sensitive and, above all, provides a silky matt shine that perfectly complements the work of art. A radiant new Hamburg painting is ready.