Waltraud was born into a family of artists among the mountain forests and fairy-tale castles of Bavaria. There she developed an eye for beauty and a deep appreciation of fine art from an early age. She went on to graduate from the National Academy of Art in Munich, where she honed her technique in the traditions of realism and impressionism.
A great variety of subjects have been captured in Waltraud's paintings during the course of her career. Her years an illustrator for Columbia Pictures, United Artists, and Warner Brothers applied her skills to a wide range of images. Later, her series of oil paintings of endangered species helped support the Wild Life Fund through the donation of their copyrights. Subjects of her portraiture have included opera stars Placido Domingo and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as well as U.S. Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Carter, and Reagan. In 1997, former president Carter was delighted to sign her portrait of him depicted in a Native American headdress.
Waltraud is perhaps best noted for her floral works in oil on panel, often compared to those of old masters such as Rachel Ruysch and Jan van Huysum. Her floral paintings have been published and a color plate appeared in the 1997 North Light Book's "The Best of Flower Paintings". Also, The Bradford Exchange has featured her work on a series of limited edition porcelain plates.
Waltraud's paintings have been exhibited in numerous shows in Europe and the U.S. and have been the subject of articles in newspapers and magazines on both continents. She is a member of Allied Artists of America, American Artists Professional League, American Society of Portrait Artists, Knickerbocker Artists USA, and Oil Painters of America. In addition, her works are printed and distributed by Bentley House Fine Art Publishers.
Recently, Waltraud began working in the classic palette knife technique. In this relatively rare European style, favored by Van Gogh among others, each stroke of paint is delivered to the canvas with a palette knife. Necessarily done on large canvases to accommodate the broad strokes of the knife, the thick dabs of paint are sculpted in place and merge with one another while wet. This yields a rich textural and visual quality unmatched by the brush. The demanding nature of the medium is unforgiving of mistakes and requires that a work, once started, must be completed in one continuous effort. The bold, modern effect of this style has broad appeal to those seeking fine art for both traditional and contemporary homes and offices.