SmartStudio of Earth Tones

Atelier1 Atelier1 Atelier2 Atelier3 Atelier4 Atelier5 Atelier6
By the way

This little story began in Austria, 25 years ago. Thereafter, the action shifted to the south of Poland, where the "Hiking Studio" found a permanent place near Krakow. In a quiet, unspectacular manner Hofer brought up a new technique and style, denoted by the terms "Lehmmalerei" in German, or "earth-painting techniques" in English. While the wheels keep on turning the hubs of "Malowanie z gliną" are seated in a small studio presented here.


Hofer made his debut as a painter in the Viennese Künstlerhaus in 1982. His first major works were murals painted in acrylic. For a work order in a loam-building, he had to work out an applicable technique. After successful trials, the first Loam-Fresks were painted by Hofer on the internal walls of the parish pavilion at Alberndorf in Austria 1991.

Out of time

Still in Vienna Hofer modified the sacred formulas of the ancient Byzantine fresco into a new technique for the mural painting. At that time, there were no instructions available how to paint frescs with pure earth. The first exhibition of Hofers "Loam-Paintings" was in Vienna 1992. In the same year he showed his pictures in Krakow as well.

Settle down

After some turbulent years in the post-communist Poland, the artist and his little family found a home on a small piece of earth close to the National-Park of Ojców near Krakow. There they built a house with a studio.


The young garden gives a lot of place to the wildlife. Insects, birds and other animals can find shelter and water. Many areas in and around the garden are never or very rarely touched by humans. Most parts of the house, the Atelier and a detached house are hand-made or construed with recycled parts of an old polish farmhouse.


After the emigration to Poland Hofer tried out a few hundred types of natural clay, mixed with clean water, on different kinds of grounds - wood, paper, canvas, reed, straw, plaster, or raw concrete. It took a long time, until the pictures have got their present standard that gives confidence for buyers. The developing of earth-painting techniques and the writing of Icons are important tasks for the artist. There are to be achieved the same standarts like classical paintings and it is designed to prevent upcoming eco-populism in Loam-Art.


When writing the icons with pure earth, there turned out, that many technical steps in the composition seem to be identically to the working methods studied on the original icon. The icons became therefore a technical and spiritual form of meditation. These experiences are enabling Hofer to reproduce the mood of the original very authentically even with other materials. It took more than 10 years of work on the icons untill the successful exhibition in the Historical Muzeum of Icons in Sanok, Poland.



Since his childhood Hofer is fascinated by astronomy and today he makes use of a F5 Newtonian telescope to capture the starlight. Today it is not so difficult anymore to picture planets, star clusters and galaxies with digital cameras in amateur manner and based on his observations he makes painted studies as a kind of interpretation called Amaminato - The Astronomical Earth-Painting.

Copter´s-eye view

The Video "Over the fields of Lesser Poland" shows a view of the small-scaled agricultural landscape at the northern border of the former Galicia through the lenses of a multicopter and a smartphone, nearby a historic fortification of the Habsburg Monarchy. "Ya vivimos" shows a funny point of view of a little flying common spirit.

Gallery of Workshops

In polish schools, 1992 and later

At several events in recent years

At the Archezja Foundation 2009


Since the first shows of Loam-Paintings there is continued interest in workshops. Hofer created a special form of loam-workshop, the "Play-with-Earth-Table"



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