Sustainable art

Levante y Mar


I live in the Mediterranean since 2019 and I am always looking for special and sustainable materials that I could use as canvas for my paintings or generally as objects for my art. Whereas the beginning of my work was characterized by predominantly black-and-white drawings, lively colors are important to me today, with which I thematize the beauty of nature, the Mediterranean lifestyle, or even the dangers of climate change.


EU Climate Pact Ambassador
climate, species and environmental protection are very close to my heart. Art and climate, is that even possible? Yes! Many of my colors are already climate neutral, and who better to bear witness to climate change than an old sail that has sailed the world’s oceans for many years. I am currently working with two 50-year-old sails from the steel sailing yacht “Nordwind”, which has also sailed the Mediterranean in its eventful life.

Latest news

Levante y Mar

In the winter 2023/24 issue of Life Style magazine EAT DRINK & MORE Costa Blanca from page 55 onwards

Current work

Life on the Mediterranean


the bridge in Beniarbeig destroyed by a flood in 2007




Spanish Life

Dr. Barbara Bartels-Leipold

Lawyer and artist

Art accompanies the lawyer alongside and in her profession her entire life, and far more than just as a hobby

Poster for the annual exhibition “Methamorphoses” at the Kleines Haus 1998, detail of the drawing center left

Barbara Bartels-Leipold was one of the founding members of the Kunstverein Delmenhorst in 1992 and for more than 10 years regularly participated in the annual exhibitions of the Kunstverein in the Kleines Haus with her large-format graphite drawings.

Even in the days of the Forum for Art, one of her paintings traveled to the twin city of Lublin as part of a joint exhibition.

Large format on the castle island

During the Women’s Culture Week in the Garden House on Burginsel, she showed not only drawings but also a large-scale wall relief that took up the theme of Metamorphoses from the Delmenhorst Art Association’s annual exhibition of the same name.

In an entry for the competition for the Delmenhorst annual poster of the Lions Club Delmenhorst-Burggraf for the benefit of the Youth Art School, she created a cubist impression of the Art Nouveau windows that adorn the stairwell of the Delmenhorst City Hall.

From 2012 to 2015, Barbara Bartels-Leipold was head of the culture department of the city of Delmenhorst. She dedicated her work, among others, to the cultural institutions in Delmenhorst such as the Theater Kleines Haus, the municipal gallery Haus Coburg, the Nordwolle Museum, the KulturBüro and the music school, of which she was a student for many years.

As a member of the board of the Oldenburgische Landschaft, she formed the link for the municipal cultural institutions to the cultural funding of the state of Lower Saxony.

In addition to the visual arts, music was and still is especially close to her heart, as she herself has been playing the saxophone for two decades, such as the jazz festival in her hometown, which has been successful for more than three decades.

Head of the Department of Culture Dr. Barbara Bartels-Leipold (center) inspecting the new foyer with architect Andrea Vennebörger (left) and the head of the Concert and Theater Directorate, Ulrike Thümmel (right).

Inspiration and hobby: water has accompanied the artist throughout her life. She was a passionate windsurfer and today she captures Mediterranean motifs on old sails.

A North German with a love of water, wind and sea

In the 1980s, Barbara Bartels-Leipold spent every spare minute on the water as a windsurfer. She learned to windsurf at a yacht school on the Zwischenahner Meer, right next to the studio of the painter Puck Steinbrecher, who she could watch painting in the shop window.

In the 1990s, she sailed the North Sea with friends and saw all the North Frisian Islands, almost all the East Frisian Islands and the high seas island of Helgoland. In 1991, she traveled as a crew member on the sail training ship “Großherzogin Elisabeth” on a three-week Scandinavian voyage to Denmark, Sweden and the Åland Islands in Finland.

The idea of painting on old sails
Back in the early 1990s, Barbara Bartels-Leipold was fascinated by the North German painter Ole West, who painted maritime motifs, especially lighthouses, on old, used nautical charts. It was probably this upcycling idea that inspired her to paint on old sails three decades later.

Many of the canvases are absolutely unique due to the traces of their life at sea, including the Mediterranean, and feature sewn-on patches, rope edges, seams or tears that are integrated into the motifs. The making-of film shows how a canvas is created from an old sail in an elaborate process.

The story behind the artworks

Sustainable art from old sails

The story

The story

The ship was built in 1898 as a cargo sailer at the shipyard of Johannes Thormählen in Elmshorn. The ship was considered an excellent sailer, but due to its shallow draft was mainly used for sailing to ports in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, and did not receive an engine until 1912.

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The old reddish-brown sails, which date from the first conversion of the former cargo sailer into a sailing yacht in 1968, arrive in Beniarbeig, Spain, after a week’s transport from Greifswald in Germany.

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