The Way I Work
The effects of nature and time, which bring about change, encourage my artistic work. Time and its influences create continuously something new – new colours, new forms. These new structures, in most cases far from being perfect, make me curious. It feels great to show this uniqueness and beauty in my pictures.
The moment the idea, mostly triggered by nature, strikes me characterises my work. While I engage in quiet dialog with myself, there comes eventually the moment I take action. Sometimes weeks or even months pass by.
When I start on a painting all I know is what material I’m going to use. The idea of forms and colours forms in my mind and develops in the course of my working process. To achieve these effects, I use some non-traditional combinations, for example, elements such as gneiss or coloured sands, glazes and cement.
The use of different materials and their reaction to one another produce new, unexpected effects.
Therefore, there are limits as to how much I control the final effect. What happens on the canvas depends on the material alone.
I am working primarily with structure paste I apply to the canvas (for example, marble powder, pit lime). Applying pigments and mordant to the moist material gives the painting its first colorful highlights. The typical drying cracks always amaze me. It is a great challenge to me to include these cracks in the following creative process.
At times, my material develops in its own way! Sometimes the cracks ruin the painting completely, a total loss.
Once I said to my wife: “My paintings arise from my solitude.” She exclaimed that it sounded so sad. But it’s true!
The material I work with is very important to me. When working with my materials I try to fall back to traditional procedures.
I stretch the canvas myself. That way, I can control the surface structure with different canvas or calico. For priming my stretched canvas, I use a mixture of bone glue, champagne chalk and lithopone. The mixing ratio affects the absorbency of the support. This sort of priming has an influence on the adhesion of the materials to be applied as well as on the brilliancy of the colours.
Depending on how I feel and on the effect I want to achieve, I use marble powder, pit lime and bonding finish of the brand Rotband as structure paste. I apply the structure paste extensively to the canvas.
To achieve bright colours I use raw, unextended pigments. Only unextended pigments offer the brilliancy and intensity I need for my works.
I mix the pigments with wax or oil. The type of oil depends on the pigment. Some oils (for example, linseed oil or poppy-seed oil) help enhance the brilliancy of the pigments.
Sometimes, I simply blow pigments on the moist surface in order to achieve a first colouring.
In the process to complete my paintings, colour application and removal are essential. After every colour application, I remove a certain layer of colour in specific places from the canvas. Some of my paintings have as many as 25 colour applications