Im Frühjahr bin ich ein wenig gereist, hab Freunde, Bekannte und Familie besucht, einige Museen und Ausstellungen und hab meinen Kopf gefüllt mit vielen neuen Bildern und Erinnerungen. Natürlich ist da schon eine Menge drin im Kopf, aber von Zeit zu Zeit brauche ich neuen Input. Ich kann, ehrlich gesagt, nicht beschreiben, wie das funktioniert, ich merke nur, dass ich irgendwann "leer laufe" und "hungrig auf Neues" werde. Das kann alles mögliche sein, Theater, Bücher, Diskussionen, Museen, Ausstellungen und andere, neue Umgebungen.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For a new painting I left a bit my usual way of mixing natural pigments with different media to create in-depth nuances of one or two colours.