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”
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.
There are places in this world, I have to go there again and again and so I went last Friday. Roussillon, more precisely, the Conservatoire des ocres et de la couleur is such a place. Here I learned all the old techniques of wall plastering, here I always buy pigments and tools for my paintings and wall design, here I get advice and answers to technical questions.
This is such a beautiful place, it is so pleasant to stroll through the rooms of the old ochre mill and get inspired by all these wonderful colours.
And of course, I always find new pigments, this time a new blue 🙂
I like to experiment with different materials over and over again and try out how they react to each other. For this painting I mixed blue and white pigments with cold beeswax and acrylic, applied all in countless layers on canvas and the result fits perfectly to the time of the year.
Actually, I did not think much of winter, the painting just turned out like this. I can see some snow on top of the Canigou, about 80 kilometers away, when driving to the supermarket, and that is indubitably a beautiful view, but it’s enough winter for me 🙂
Imagine, you are walking through a snow-covered forest, it is clear, icy cold winter weather, the snow crunches under your feet, ice cones are hanging from the branches. All that I can see and feel in this painting.
I finished another painting, a bit similar to the Autumn Leafs painting, but with a much clearer structure and so I think, more powerful.
Also, I used different materials: lime, marble powder and cold marble wax for a smooth structure and shellac ink for a warm subtle tone.
This time, I really wanted to get a very deep, strong red. It’s not as easy as you might think by using different shades of red pigments. Red ochre is anhydrous iron oxyde, a mineral. It comes in shades from very dark brown-red to light yellow.
These minerals tend to turn either into a brownish red or rusty tone. So I mixed them, layer by layer and added some yellow pigments.
I wrote about the meaning of red before but I would like to add some more aspects to it.
Red, is the colour of power.
Kings, cardinals and Roman generals wore red.
Did you know, that about 75% of the worlds flags contain red?
But red is also associated with blood, danger, aggression and lust. The devil wears not always Prada but red and in the middle ages it was the colour prostitutes preferred to wear, until today we call the area were the prostitutes are presented the red – light district.
These oppositional attributes make red a tricky choice for brands.
One can say, red is the colour of life with all it’s facets: power, joy, sex, danger and death.
I hope you can see the power of life in my painting 😉
I was very emotional when creating that new painting, thought of my mother, family, life and friends. May be it’s because of November, but I am still very sad about the loss of my mother. Continue reading “Melancholy”
I always experiment with different materials and inspired by some art I saw at the ART Basel, I wanted to create artificial rust on canvas.
There are ready to buy kits for creating artificial rust, which are quite expensive and I thought, also boring to apply. I like to figured it out by myself 🙂
Obviously, I needed some fine metal shavings, which I could get from the local blacksmith. He just shook his head when I told him what I was about, I believe he thinks I am a bit crazy…
These shavings I mixed with acrylic medium to apply it on a wooden board. To activate the rust I moistened it with acid. That process I repeated several times until I got the desired result.
Between I incorporated several layers of acrylic and oil paint, and other media to create some special effects.
I learned a lot about how the different materials react to each other and now I am ready to apply this technique on canvas too.
The last weeks were packed with lots of stuff. Currently, I am mainly working with Clara & Tobias in this old house and it’s really heavy work. We are still building the new separation wall and we already reached the first level (cave and ground floor are done!). It’s not only building this wall, it includes also removing old floors (very dusty), sort out the waste and bringing it to the dumpsites and shopping lots of bricks and mortar.
On top of all that, I relaunched this website with the help of my personal specialist, assembled my first portfolios of my paintings to apply in art galleries and organized the daily stuff necessary to keep the household running.
Despite me being very tired, I somehow managed to make a new painting, quasi to relax and see something nice after all this dust.
It is, to a certain extent a complement of the Autumn painting I did a few weeks before. The wonderful colours of the vine leaves right now inspired my to this composition of red and yellow ochres. Foreseeing the fate of all these leafs, I added some fading colours such as sienna and umbra.
All in all, it creates a warm feeling and let me thinking back on the summertime.
Autumn, the season between summer and winter, a time of change. It brings beautiful colours of fallen leafs, snugly evenings in front of the fire.
We start preparing for the winter time, harvest and conserve fruits and vegetables from our garden, store firewood, take out our cosy woolen cloths.
Nature is preparing herself for a long rest, to recover, to recharge its batteries for a great comeback next spring.
Autumn also reminds us on the impermanence of life. Maybe a good time to reflect and letting go ?
Don’t ask me why.
It’s just about sitting at beach, watching the sea and the sky, listening to the waves, philosophising, dreaming into infinity, sleeping away, waking up refreshed and energised.
And becomes devoutly singing blue.
The blue fades to light.
Hans Arp: Singing Blue