How I paint

Christine Graf

I once jokingly said I paint with everything I come across. That is indeed the case.
Experimenting with materials and combining them in an unusual way often results in unforeseen effects. I like to combine materials which are usually not used for painting, like to mix rough and fine ones and let them interact.
For me it is interesting to do something not knowing where it ends. Even though I try to think it through in advance, what happens on the canvas and the outcome is something different. It’s never a simple transfer. Somehow the painting develops in its own way and random plays a big part in it. Sometimes it takes a lot of thinking until I am ready to begin a new painting. It's not only a lot of thinking about a specific composition or colours or materials, it's also talking with people, strolling around, going into museums, flea markets, traveling, reading books, normal everyday life things.

Abstract painting for me means freedom of expression, I am free of shapes, colours and materials to use, without the need to focus on a specific object. I don't feel limitations, it's a very broad approach to express myself. 
Usually I am not using brushes, instead I use spatulas, I like the shapes and effects it creates. It’s very experimental, often accidental. It is more the process of creation in which something of my thoughts and feelings are involved and not primarily the final result itself.

Thus, what appears on canvas is a part of me but a part I can’t really explain. And that's why I find it increasingly difficult to give my paintings titles. 
Because it's in the eye of the beholder and it also depends somehow on his mood and a certain willingness to engage with a painting. In the end, a painting means something different to everyone. 

What is sometimes difficult to decide is the point when a painting is ready. I learned that there is a fine balance between stopping and overdoing it. The best way for me is to leave the painting for a while, bring it to another place and see it from different perspectives, with different lights. I also observe the reaction of other people passing by, mostly from my family, ask them how they feel about it. 
There comes a point where I think it's good the way it is and I sign it.

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