Last weeks I worked with very raw materials: petrified earth, field stones, stones that have crumbled into earth, gravel and lots of beton. We built a floor in a part of an old cave, about 28 square meters. We chopped out a lot of earth and stones (because over the years, some of what was stored on the ground dissolved into some kind of soil), transported most of it into our garden as a foundation for a new vegetable bed, levelled the ground with gravel and concreted the ground. I have to submit I like working with concrete, as I do with sand and lime and since a few weeks, bitumen. Although these are very sturdy and rough materials, they can be a very smooth when perfectly mixed and manipulated. After the hard floor building work I still wanted to continue experimenting how I can use them on canvas. This time I played around with bitumen again. It resulted in something I have no title for. No planning, no thinking, I just forgot myself but giving something of myself into this painting: my memories, feelings, my sense of things, life and dreams. Something stirred within me which needed to come out. Find yourself a title, a meaning, like it or not 😉
During my trip to Vietnam at the end of last year I visited the exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in Ho Chi Minh City. That was somehow a weird mixture of old, classical, revolutionary painting and so called real socialism art. In the courtyard of the museum, many smaller galleries show traditional as well as modern paintings and sculptures. And of course you can see a lot of traditional lacquer painting there, and to my surprise, even modern abstract art using lacquer. Lacquer is a clear or black sap from the wax tree, the same way collected as rubber and with a similar smell. I was instantly fascinated by that material and wanted to find out more about it. That led me to the College of Fine Arts. In the hope to get some substantial information about the use of lacquer, I asked students, a teacher and the shop staff but this turned out to ended up in funny gibberish communication as nearly nobody spoke any other language than Vietnamese. However, I bought two water plastic bottles with lacquer and a very expensive, but so beautiful Chinese red pigment.
Back home, I did some research and learned about the history of Vietnamese lacquer paintings, how it differs to those in Japan and China. And then, I started to experiment with it and that little series was created.
After, I was more confident and dared bigger formats. I applied the lacquer in many layers of different viscosity, added different amounts of Chinese red pigment and that series of three paintings came out: Lacquer I, Lacquer II, Lacquer III. All these paintings are exhibited at the ART Fabrik until mid of July.
It took a long time to make it. The lacquer needs to dry under certain conditions, best is heat and humidity, which was not sufficiently available during the process and therefore the drying took weeks. Sanding was needed before applying a new layer and only when a layer was dry the final colour emerged. It was a very interesting process, it challenged my not very well developed patience a lot 😉
When creating the sunny house I became curious about using cement in my paintings. I quite liked the combination of glossy oil paint and raw cement and got in my mind to create a little series using such materials. Yellow will be followed by blue and red, always adding cement to it. So, that’s the second painting: Rough. The challenge lies in the application of such a rough material to canvas and thus I needed to explore how to mix different sorts of cement so it does not crack when dry.
First, I applied some layers of blue oil paint, ready made and self composed, to combine it with cement. It fascinates me to see how these different materials react to and with each other, how they repel or connect, how they mix and how new structures emerge. I love the contrast of shiny and smooth surface to very rough one’s.
Between all the house restoration work, I had time to do another painting. When doing a full house restoration we really start from the bottom, removing everything what was added to the original structure of house, leaving us with bare walls, without floors and ceilings, left with the rough, basic foundation.
When we are done with our restoration work, a shiny and beautiful surface is visible and make people feel welcomed.
This is what I had in my mind when creating that new painting.
The bottom is made with concrete and the finish on top is created by several coats of lacquered oil paint in a bright, warm and sunny yellow.
Even though I need to apply some last layers, I want to give you a first impression.
Space to store my paintings wasn’t a real problem as I nearly sold everything after a short while, but not all, of course 😉
Those paintings which are still with me I put back in big cartons and shuffled them around in our cave. But then, we had a water problem and it was just in the last-minute I rescued my paintings for being destroyed. Continue reading “Storage for my paintings”
After a long pause, caused by a water damage in my little atelier and due to lots of renovation work, I started painting again.
This time, I layered oil paints over ash and washed them away again and again to create subtle effects. It’s a play of appearing and disappearing, of strong presence and nebulous absence. Like memories, they come and go, sometimes they are very clear and sometimes you wondering if an event really happened or if it is just in your imagination.
Many years ago, when we restored our house, I plastered my very first walls ever in our living room. I just came back from a one week training course where I learned the basics of wall plastering with lime, sand and marble powder. These walls were in a very rough condition, we had removed the old plaster, closed some holes with natural stones and here I came, ready to build up all the layers necessary before the final one could be done. Back then, I used sieved sand with lime and troweled it off. I did not know that the trowel should be made of a special steel so that no traces of troweling will be visible afterwards. My trowel wasn’t such a one and when the walls were try, lots of greyish traces became visible. It didn’t bother us very much but during the last years I became more Continue reading “Plastering a wall with stucco”
It`s already seven years since we constructed a new spiral staircase for our house. Hagen built a wooden skeleton and I put gypsum on it, layer by layer, until it looked like an elegant, old staircase. The final surface was plastered with a mix of lime, gypsum, pigments and protected with savon noir.
One can certainly imagine that time left some signs of wear on the surface, scratches and stains from the daily use. It also had, from the beginning of her life, some fine slopes and dales, resulting from my first attempts of working with fine plaster. Every day I saw it and thought: I can do it better now! Continue reading “Casein-Lime Paint”
Wie vermutlich jeder Künstler, möchte ich meine Arbeiten nicht nur zeigen, sondern auch verkaufen. Das klappt ganz gut über Ausstellungen, also offline, und manchmal eben auch online. Zu Beginn meiner Künstlerkarriere hatte ich hier einen Shop (woocommerce) integriert. Das stellte sich als ein wenig überdimensioniert heraus.
Ich hab die Erfahrung gemacht, dass die meisten Menschen Kunst nur dann online kaufen, wenn sie mich entweder kennen bzw. meine Malerei schon mal gesehen haben.
Also hab ich den Shop wieder entfernt. Ich möchte natürlich dennoch sichtbar machen, dass man meine Bilder kaufen kann.
Bisher hatte ich nur einen, relativ diskreten, Hinweis auf meiner About Page dafür. Aber es braucht schon eine gewisse Zielstrebigkeit um sich bis dahin durchzuklicken;-)
Nach vielen Diskussionen mit meinem persönlichen IT Master, haben wir uns darauf geeinigt, dass unter jedem Bild, welches verkäuflich ist, nicht nur der Preis erscheint (!) sondern auch ein Kontaktformular, welches von einem Kaufinteressenten schnell ausgefüllt und versendet werden kann.
Die E-Mail, die ich dann erhalte, enthält neben dem Titel des Bildes auch den Namen und die E-Mail Adresse des Interessenten, so dass wir nun zueinander finden und die Kaufabwicklung klären können.
In einem nächsten Schritt möchte ich nun noch auf der Portfolio Page sichtbar machen, welche Bilder käuflich sind.
Aber dafür muß ich erst einen neuen Termin bei meinem Master buchen 😉
Making that painting was a real struggle for me, on the one hand technically and on the other hand emotionally.
I used different blue pigments in different solvents which still reacted with each other long time after I decided the painting is ready, but not in the desired way. The components changed colours and structures and I needed to find out what happened to be able to correct it e.g. use it. Thus I tried different compositions on smaller canvas which resulted in a little series of blue-greens.
The technical exploration was fun and I learned a lot. The other side of the making was more difficult. I thought of a person close to me and to whom I am strongly tight emotionally. Our relation was not that easy over a long period, when I did not get the care I needed, when I did not understand decisions imposed on me, when I was lost and sad.
It changed over the time, as we both were able to talk to each other on equal footing.
That painting expresses all my ambivalence how I see this person: the deepness and the impenetrability, the beauty and ugly, the strengths and weaknesses, infinity and finitude, steadiness.
Hard as a rock on which you can crash, but also can provide protection.