From the 15th to the 18th of August 2019, I was so lucky to be able to attend a workshop in North Vancouver, BC. Teacher was the “Architect of Light” Thomas W. Schaller. The workshop was organized by the fabulous Janice Blore of artescapesyvr.com, who brings every year some of the most acclaimed watercolour it’s in the world to North Vancouver.
I was very excited meet Thomas Schaller and learn from him, since I am a big fan of his work. Not only is his technique impeccable, I also experienced him as a wonderful teacher.
First Day, 15.8.
We spent the first day in the studio and learned about the basics. Palette set up, paper, perspective, light, focal points, and value. Very inspiring!
Second Day, 16.8.
We all met early in Deep Cove on Indian Arm and started painting pleinair in Panorama Park, always looking up to the grey sky. We were lucky. It hardly rained the whole day.
Third day: 17.8.
We painted an architectural scene at the North Vancouver Studio.
Fourth day 18.8.
That is the last work I did during the workshop. I learned a lot. For example the use of Imperial Violet for shadows. And how to warm up shadows with orange.
After this experience I am sure that I will keep on learning. It is too much fun and I felt that it is especially in watercolour important to have a solid technique, before venturing into more New Territories. 😉
When I travelled to Myanmar in end of January 2019, I was still hurting from the sale of my own boat in December. I had a deep passion and love for going out on the beautiful Pacific Ocean in the Northwest and enjoyed observing whales, dolphins and all the other animals that one can see in abundance here. The beauty of the coast made a deep impact on me.
When I started painting the boats and tall ships in the south of Burma, I was bit by bit able to heal from the deep sadness that I felt inside of me.
After four week trip I realized that I had found a new subject matter, that in odd way connected to my former more abstract shapes of the Instruments of a Lost Future. It became also obvious that this body of work will seamlessly fit in my never ending love affair with TIME and SPACE.
These boats look ages old, but could also sail the waters in a distant horrifying future.
This painting above is the first of six large watercolours. All in the same size, 44,5×60 inch. They will depict boats or other vehicles in an abstract space.
The watercolour below shows a Hpa-An gravel digging ship. It is painted on handmade Indian watercolour paper. 30x40inch.
Another, smaller work in this series is the cargo-motorcycle below. There are a lot of interesting means of transportation in Myanmar. Perfect for my watercolours.
In preparation to my big trip to Myanmar, I started seriously working on my watercolour skills. I learned a lot about watercolours on YouTube and bought a couple of books of which Painting in Watercolour – The Indispensable Guide by David Webb was the most helpful.
I realized that the best paper is unfortunately the most expensive paper. The 100% cotton papers by Arches, Stonehenge etc.
The same was true with the watercolour paint. Fortunately I already owned a watercolour pad from Schmincke. It is fully loaded with 30 watercolour pans, Of which I later learned I needed only 15. Through my YouTube videos I got onto Daniels Smith watercolour paint and I must say I like them as much as the Schmincke.
I am using watercolour brushes by Escoda from Barcelona. Mine are the Joseph Zbukvic signature brushes. On top of that I travel with some water brushes that come very handy, when the water supply is scarce.
This time i am traveling again with two Stillman and Birg sketchbooks. One with brown paper. Let’s see how that will go.
AFTER A LIFE CHANGING EVENT ONE HAS TO RE-INVENT ONESELF. THE MOST RADICAL CHANGE IS TO GO AND VISIT NEW TERRITORY. THERE, IN THE UNKNOWN, THE UNFAMILIAR, IT IS THAT ONE CAN REFINE AND REDIRECT TO THE UNIVERSAL PATH ONE HAS TO GO.
In Myanmar I traveled four weeks January/February 2019. This trip was a very intense, life changing experience. Many things reminded me of Brazil, but many things were also very different.
In Myanmar I started to expand into new territory. When I came to Brazil in 1994 the first time, it was also an exciting new experience. The whole 7 weeks were very emotional for me and facing a large City like São Paulo, being often alone, was frightening and exhilarating at the same time.
This same happened to me in Myanmar. Some of the regions my travel companion and fellow artist Lisa Haselbek and I visited, had just opened 5 years ago to tourism. One could feel the curiosity of the people around us and the vibe of a country starting out, The friendliness and warmth reminded me of Brazil, as well as the contrast between rich and poor.
During this trip I filled two big sketchbooks with watercolours. Watercolour became the medium of choice for me and will it be most likely for a long time to come.
Expanding – Increasing – Sharing – Caring.
Being curious – Being respectful – Inviting with a smile the approach of people – Being grateful.
When I travel, this is how I interact. When I am painting, sitting at a corner or in a landscape, this is what I keep in mind. I realize, that I am carrying Canada and Germany with me wherever I go. That means that how I am interacting will shape the way everybody that crosses my path will see my two home countries.
One always brings a lot of baggage on a new path. May it be concepts, knowledge or tools. Everything will enhance, but not stop the momentum into the new.
After the interesting artist symposium in São Paulo in 2017 and the following exhibition in Nuremberg, where Pontecultura e.V., an exchange Non-Profit art association is situated, there will be happening a continuation of the 2017 theme in September 2019 in Belem, North Brazil.
For this occasion I want to revisit 2017 and then explain my newest body of work and how it connects with the topic.
We started in 2017 with an exhibition in Espaço Nexus , São Paulo where I showed these three works from my Instruments of a Lost Future series. This series. More of this in terms of size very versatile series can be seen on my website.
After the exhibition we spent roughly a week in the wonderful house of fellow artist Damara Bianconi with talks excursions , movies and of course working towards the Territorios theme.
On this little table I started my love affair with the very demanding medium watercolour and it has been an increasingly pleasant relationship, between my Schmincke Watercolour pad, the paper, and me.
I traveled to Germany the same year in September, with art from my new body of work:
Of Bots, Drones and other Invasive Species.
Shortly after this exhibition the conversation about bringing this subject back to Brazil and having an exhibition in Belem on the Amazon started.
Working for Film clients is a lot of fun, but also stressful
There is the timeline for example. One week for a large painting is not unusual.When there is more time it more often also happens that the job gets changed During the process.
Not too easy when you are already three quarters finished.
Then there is quoting a price. This is always a tricky part. Not too high and not too low of course: A problem for all freelance creative workers.
There is no formula, since every job is different. Unfortunately I am quoting most of the time too low and put way more hours into the job than I wanted.
Perfectionism is my problem. Letting a work go before being 100% satisfied.
For a long time a quote from an art teacher stayed with me and I would love to be able to apply it to work, that has a strict timeline:
Each stage of an artwork should have meaning.
In my words:
Each stage of an artwork should look finished.
So if my time runs out, I can at least say to myself: The painting is finished, maybe not in the tiniest detail, but what matters in the image is well defined. I tend to overdo it, so I am happy that I get feedback from my husband and former art director Sandy: Enough, stop!
Above is my last commissioned piece, a 40×70 (100cm x 176cm) for a Russian themed set;
I prepared the image on the computer and we printed it on canvas on our large format printer. After a fluid laminate, I painted on it, bringing out detail, shadows, and light.
Nice to hear from the client that it made the set!
Since I started the series Instruments of a Lost Future, end of 2014 – in oil and acrylic on canvas, I wanted to do a series of works on paper as well. But owning a gallery and art rental place does not allow much time for my own work, which, I have to admit, makes me often grumpy.
I had to find a tool that could be my creative outlet that I could use in the little time that was left. When I bought my IPad Pro I knew that this was it.
The number of amazing apps for iPad and iPhone is incredible. I must say that I am addicted to finding interesting and useful new ones. A couple of my favourite apps that I use for quite a while are: Stackables, and Matter.
In Stackables I created the background from the filters that I created myself – the possibilities are infinite.
Matter er was very tempting for my work, but the shapes were pre-made and I wanted to use my own shapes. Thankfully Matter gives users the possibility to import his/her own files in the obj format.The problem was now, to find an app for iPad that creates obj files.
Finally I found 3D Pro, a fairly simple program, maybe a bit old fashioned, but exactly what I needed.
Simplicity was what I wanted to achieve in the forms and I very soon was able to do exactly what I needed.
Bit by bit I repeated the forms of my original series and imported them into Matter.