Björn Wirtz

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Björn Wirtz



Björn Wirtz is best known for his impressionistic plein air oil paintings that capture the essential truths of the places he explores and cares about.

He grew up in Cologne, Germany, drawing and exploring nature from his childhood on. Spending a lot of his early vacations with his parents in the mountains of the alps, hiking for long distances even as a little child laid the ground stone for his future love of the mountains while the time spent at his grandparents' large garden also deepened his connection with nature.

He went on to study Visual Communication at the University of Applied Sciences in Krefeld, Germany. The study being mostly focused on advertisement and design, he began concentrating more and more on illustration towards the end of his studies and received his diploma degree in 2005.

After a brief period of working as a freelance illustrator for several publishing houses, he pursued a career as a concept artist and Art Director in the entertainment industry. During the more than 10 years working in this field, he strengthened his eye for colour, mood and composition, mostly painting digitally. In 2013, after being inspired by plein air paintings of other artists in the entertainment industry, he started to focus on working in traditional mediums.

He began working in watercolour, sketching everywhere his travels took him. Soon after in the fall of 2014, he won the first prize at the Watercolour Meeting plein air competition in Würzburg, Germany. From there on it was clear for him that he wanted to pursue a serious career as a professional painter. He started painting in oils and began studying with ARC master Patrick Devonas. The 2 months he spent with him later that year, painting plein air in the swiss mountains further convinced him that he was on the right path. It was also in 2015 that he received his first international recognition by winning the Boldbrush Outstanding Watercolour Award. The following year marked his debut international exhibition with the California Plein Air Painters International Salon Show in which he received an Award of Merit.

Björn Wirtz continued his intense studies of nature the following years, capturing his immediate surroundings as well as the landscapes he traveled to, such as Italy, Croatia, France, Brazil and Switzerland.

At the 13th ARC Salon Competition he felt honoured to be included as a Finalist in the Plein Air Category.

From mid 2018 to spring 2019 his travels throughout the world led him to a wide range of experiences and subject matter. From palaces in Russia to coastlines in Portugal, alleyways in Morroco, remote valleys in the Himalayas and the tuscan countryside; all of his work invites the viewer to take part in his personal impressions. This is what he translates into bold compositions and simplified statements that capture the essence of his subjects. His goal is recording the ephemeral beauty surrounding us and in turn raising the viewer's awareness to see and preserve it for the future.


* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 14th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.