Artist Biography and Statement:
I started painting at 15 and being now 75 doesn’t make it easy to write a statement about my art. Somebody not knowing me might see a lot of changes and inconsistencies, but to me all is coherent, always me. At first I didn’t know if I should become a painter or a writer and until now my art is swinging between more conventional genres like still-life and landscape and a more narrative work.
My study of art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart supported this polarization, as the education at the academy was rather diversified: I learned painting, printmaking, pottery, bookbinding and even bronze casting. What remained was painting and printmaking (woodcutting and especially all kinds of etching). Generally said, I painted still-lives creating a body of special objects like crabs, mussels, snail shells and dolls or landscapes like ruins and cemeteries. All these subjects had also a symbolic meaning, but when I wanted to go really narrative I preferred printmaking and made illustrations to J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels, tarot cards or my Memento Mori book.
When I came to Wisconsin in 2004, I was so overwhelmed by the forests and bluffs, that I, for the first time, painted pure landscapes. I also made an etching series about the lakeshore. Then the swing to the narrative started again. I found a book about painted targets from the 18th and 19th century. This inspired me to use circular canvasses and paint nature on a structure of target rings. This way I wanted to express that nature was targeted and endangered.
Then I found in 2015 a tree cave with a mushroom in it looking like a little landscape and my imagination began to work. I had so many ideas what to do with this tree cave that I decided to make an etching and use the prints as the base for my fantasy. Working on the identical prints I individualized them by painting on them with gouache. This way I united painting and etching, working with the contrast of the fine etching lines and the picturesque effect of gouache painting. Finally I found the compromise between painting and etching, representation of reality and fantasy. Is this the last station of my journey? We’ll see…