I love you, 110 x 110, acrylic on canvas, 2011
What are you working on in your studio right now?
I am waiting for some money in order to buy some big formats. In the meantime I am working on some smaller pieces. Because of the fact that those smaller works are in a way just a way for me to continue working, my attitude towards them is more casual, they seem to be less of a challenge. The funny thing is that I really like what´s been happening with them, they look like they "just happened", that they were done effortlessly. Maybe it´s because I am not trying so hard.
Can you describe your working routine?
I get to my studio around 10 or 11a.m., before that I go for a long walk with my dog. The first thing I do when I enter my studio is to put on some music, make myself a cup of coffee, sit down and look at the work I left unfinished or that I finished the previous day. Mostly I go from there, I start on one of the paintings, prepare a colour, then on to the next. I work on several paintings at the same time. So it´s all about getting into the mood and starting the process of painting
Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?
My studio is in a big building in Cologne with lots of other working spaces around me. I used to rent a studio in this building which was a lot darker and I needed artificial light. Now I have a studio on the upper floor, I can see the sky and I even have a window on the ceiling. It´s a bright and welcoming space. When I open the door of my studio in the morning it´s uplifting. It´s difficult to get in a bad mood in this space and this definitely influences my work.
Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
I don´t draw before I start working. I just start somewhere. My starting point is one colour, I decide which one I want to use and then I´ll prepare it. This is a sensual moment, opening the bottle or the bag with the pigment, pouring the acrylic medium in the container, mixing it with the paint or the pigment. Sometimes it´s surprising because of how a certain pigment turns out... I may not have used it previously. And then I just start on a fresh canvas or I continue on a canvas I already worked on. It´s all about applying the paint, looking at the work, analyzing it and then deciding if it´s good. I also read when I am in the studio to distract myself or I just sit on my sofa and stroke the dog and look at my paintings from time to time. I try and keep the ambiance in my work space open and playful. I think this is what it´s all about in my creative process, keeping this openness and the ability to act upon it.
Work in progress
What are you having the most trouble resolving?
I am constantly looking out for new shapes and forms. I have started using writing in some of my paintings but I don´t want to overuse it. I sometimes feel that I have run out of ideas and I am worried I find no more interesting elements that can basically compete with my painted surfaces.
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
I experiment with different materials. I am using spray paint and glossy paint etc. Last week I glued an old t-shirt on one of the canvases. I should experiment even more. I think it´s only through experimenting that new ideas will come up. At least in my line of work.
Work in progress
What does the future hold for this work?
I am working on getting my paintings out there. My work was recently shown at the artfair in Karlsruhe. It was such a good experience to see so many people look at my work. Even though artfairs are a scary place