In my experience, painting has always been a natural process like breathing – except on a longer time scale. The first part of your artistic life is spent ‘inhaling’ all that is relevant to your work from the world around you in order to build up a repertoire of subjects, and learning various vocabularies which can best express them. After this phase the really interesting part starts; where you can begin to ‘exhale’ all that you have absorbed in your art, the emotions and experiences you have accumulated in the course of a lifetime. Now I feel I am in my second phase, I have the ability to draw from each period the most important aspects which I can use in my current work, to perfect them. It’s a kind of Proustian ‘remembrance of things past’, where in the memory an event or subject is distilled and crystallised stripped of everything but its essentials. Both, fantasy and real life experiences, are part of my memory and influence me in my painting style and colour.
Photographer Franziska Reichel