Who inspired me: Mark Rothko

Until a few years ago, I could not imagine that I can create art.
It changed when I took a course in 2009, to learn using traditional techniques to restore and decorate walls.
My trainer was an artist-artisan, he not only miraculously mixed colours and materials, and explained how the different materials react with each other, he also conjured beautiful examples of multi-coloured stucco, lime plaster and Tadelakt.
I was thrilled, but still far away from thinking that this might have something to do with art.
For me, it was perfect craftsmanship, but it bordered on art 😉
During this course, I discovered that I have a knack for colours and I am quite good in applying the various techniques. So I started practicing to refine my skills. Over the years I have plastered many hundreds of square meters of walls. And still I did not think that this is a kind of art.
Friends who come to visit us every year began early to tell me that I should go a bit further and also use other supports than just walls because it is art, what I was doing.
I am indeed happy they liked the results of my work, but for me, the thought of trying that on canvas, was far away.
In January this year, we visited the Pop Art exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, and because this is such a wonderful museum, we went there again the next day and had a look at the permanent exhibition. I wanted to see the paintings of Gerhard Richter, who impressed me quite a bit a few years ago at the Museum of Fine Art in Leipzig, but this is another story to tell.
The Richter paintings are wonderful, but the biggest surprise for me that day was a room in which the Seegram Murals by Mark Rothko hang.

Mark Rothko Red on Maroon
Mark Rothko Red on Maroon

I had never heard of this artist and was deeply fascinated. What was hanging there, were paintings for decorating the walls of the Four Seasons restaurants in New York. These paintings reminded me very much of how I decorate walls. I spent about one hour in this dark room, I went back and forth, repeatedly looked at all pictures and was deeply touched. This subtle effect of how colours can influence a room (and moods) was overwhelming.
Now I understood what our friends thought when they looked at my walls and rooms. I decided to transfer techniques for the design of walls on canvas and adapt them to this flexible material.
At a first glance, it might look easy to paint with only one color, but it is quite complicated to bring in texture and depth and trigger emotions.

My two paintings Red and Blue are my first examples of just applying different hues of one colour.
Currently I’m experimenting with the color white, but it still takes a little until I like to show the result to the public.

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The post Who inspired me: Mark Rothko appeared first on Christine Graf.

Who inspired me: Mark Rothko

Until a few years ago, I could not imagine that I can create art.
It changed when I took a course in 2009, to learn using traditional techniques to restore and decorate walls.
My trainer was an artist-artisan, he not only miraculously mixed colours and materials, and explained how the different materials react with each other, he also conjured beautiful examples of multi-coloured stucco, lime plaster and Tadelakt.
I was thrilled, but still far away from thinking that this might have something to do with art.
For me, it was perfect craftsmanship, but it bordered on art 😉
During this course, I discovered that I have a knack for colours and I am quite good in applying the various techniques. So I started practicing to refine my skills. Over the years I have plastered many hundreds of square meters of walls. And still I did not think that this is a kind of art.
Friends who come to visit us every year began early to tell me that I should go a bit further and also use other supports than just walls because it is art, what I was doing.
I am indeed happy they liked the results of my work, but for me, the thought of trying that on canvas, was far away.
In January this year, we visited the Pop Art exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, and because this is such a wonderful museum, we went there again the next day and had a look at the permanent exhibition. I wanted to see the paintings of Gerhard Richter, who impressed me quite a bit a few years ago at the Museum of Fine Art in Leipzig, but this is another story to tell.
The Richter paintings are wonderful, but the biggest surprise for me that day was a room in which the Seegram Murals by Mark Rothko hang.

Mark Rothko Red on Maroon
Mark Rothko Red on Maroon

I had never heard of this artist and was deeply fascinated. What was hanging there, were paintings for decorating the walls of the Four Seasons restaurants in New York. These paintings reminded me very much of how I decorate walls. I spent about one hour in this dark room, I went back and forth, repeatedly looked at all pictures and was deeply touched. This subtle effect of how colours can influence a room (and moods) was overwhelming.
Now I understood what our friends thought when they looked at my walls and rooms. I decided to transfer techniques for the design of walls on canvas and adapt them to this flexible material.
At a first glance, it might look easy to paint with only one color, but it is quite complicated to bring in texture and depth and trigger emotions.

My two paintings Red and Blue are my first examples of just applying different hues of one colour.
Currently I’m experimenting with the color white, but it still takes a little until I like to show the result to the public.

Save

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The post Who inspired me: Mark Rothko appeared first on Christine Graf.

Red

So far, I have always worked with several colours, with Red I limited myself to one colour, but in different shades: ochre rouge, Rouge de Venise, vermilion. Again, I have worked with different layers and binders, such as marble powder, linseed oil and acrylic.
Ocre Rouge or iron oxide, is a pigment obtained by calcination of yellow ochre. The Venetian red is also based on iron oxide and has been used since antiquity for painting. Vermilion has been derived from mercury sulfide but here I used a synthetic pigment, which reacts a bit differently than the other two mineral pigments.

There are a lot of theories about the meaning of colours and the related personality types, and although some are very controversial, there are quite coincident assignments.
Roughly speaking, personality types differ according to their type of temperament (extrovert, introvert) and further regarding sensory perception, intuition, thinking and feeling.
The colour red is associated with extroverted, analytical thinking people. Allocated to red are such attributes like decisive, strong-willed, demanding, task & goal focused, powerful and positive thinking. “Red people” are full of energy and take immediately chances and challenges, tackle problems, and think later, maybe.
It could be that they do not pay much attention on the feelings of others.
No person is only red, just as the picture that I painted. It has different shades of red, which will be probably not perceived by many as red in the traditional sense. The middle part consists of several layers of ochre rouge, which is mixed with various binders and thus the layers are fairly discolored. The lower part consists of Venetian red, a deep, warm shade of red. The upper part is painted in several layers of vermilion on Venetian red. Depending on the source and intensity of light, the colours change.

When thinking about painting with one colour tone, red and blue came into my mind first. Seems, that I am not one hundred percent red 😉

Everyday life

Rush, hurry up to get the subway, the bus, the plane, be on time at the office.
Countless phone calls, talking to employees and customers, power struggles.
In between eating a bit, little fresh air, always under time pressure.
Fast organizing a few personal things.  Shopping food online, something healthy, if possible.
Even more quickly, make a little sport.
Getting back home, tired.
Hardly time to breathe, few highlights.

This is how I painted the Everyday Life