Ever since my childhood, in the countryside of West Germany, a connection with nature has been important to me. I loved the sound of gurgling waters from a small creek, the beauty of windblown leaves glittering on a silver poplar, or the pattern of droplets from a summer thunderstorm as they crater into the dusty ground. As a child I tried to capture these intense experiences in pictures. I would color my sketches not with a pencils or paints, but with pigments I found in nature. Not having a paintbrush, I would use my fingers to apply colors from berries, leaves, and soil, then wondered why everything turned brown. Not until I became six or seven did my parents buy a small box of watercolors for me. I have not stopped painting since then. I enrolled in an art school in Germany, which emphasized the impressionistic art form. Following graduation, I painted landscapes that resembled Monet's poppy and water lily paintings. For the next fifteen years I painted and exhibited artwork in an impressionistic style, with Gouache (opaque water colors) as my medium. While living in India for a year, I found the landscape so integrated with the richness and color of village life, that I broadened my interests to include animals and people. My artwork shifted to watercolors and pastels, and I began painting simple village lifestyles.
Moving to the Pacific Northwest in 1980, I continued with landscapes in Gouache, enamored with the charm and beauty of snow peaked mountains, vast bodies of water, rocky coastline cliffs, and the alpine meadows dotted with flowers. Then came a point where I felt stuck; no growth or artistic newness was happening. A routine had set in that blocked any excitement about what I was painting and pulled me out of my meditative state. After attending several art institutes in Seattle, I went back to art school, attending the University of Washington, to find a new style. In the following four years I experimented with different art forms, all the while fighting feelings of frustration and inadequacy. I tried and then abandoned many different techniques. Stimulated by my art history studies, for a while I explored painting in the bright colors of the Fauvist artists and the depths of mysteriousness of German Expressionists. I was especially influenced by the north German artist, Emil Nolde, and his atmospheric depictions of seascapes, which are done in bright water colors. I admired the powerful, organic shapes of the contemporary abstract American artist, Bill Jensen. However, whereas Jensen tends toward smaller size paintings, I prefer to work on large canvases.
It always has been important for me to be in a soft and silent inner space in order to paint. I put nice music on and relax while mixing the colors I want to paint in for the day. Those colors I put on the canvas while standing very close to it. Something from inside of me is guiding my hand, while with a sense of excitement, in assertive fast movements I put on the first big strokes on the white canvas. After a while, I step back to study the beginnings of a new work and, like a sculptor with an piece of marble not yet carved, my eye tentatively inches over the patterns that present themselves, to sense what wants to come out. I accentuate what wants to be accentuated or change and mellow out curves and planes that don't harmonize with the rest.
My artwork is created through an outpouring of love and inner peace. I do hope that every observer will get drawn into this space of expansion and harmony that the picture puts out. I encourage you to take a moment, hold still, and study my paintings with openness for what it expresses. You will be walking away with a sense of inner calm and lightness.