Don't Say it, Spray it
Posted in In the Studio by Rise Art on 02nd August 2017
Colour. Texture. Explosion. Daniela Schweinsberg's abstract paintings pack a punch. In her Frankfurt studio, it's all about being spontaneous and going with her gut. Spray paint, pastels, charcoal and markers are just some of her tools. And she wields a hammer and screwdriver just as effectively: Daniela makes her own frames and stretches her canvases herself. She's not only an artist, but a skilled craftswoman.
Daniela, tell us about your artistic processes and the concepts that lie behind your art.
My artworks are abstract works. I start with something in my mind, something that has inspired or touched me. This can be an experience I had, a feeling, or simply even a colour, form or texture I came across. In my paintings I try to translate and transport this to other people in my own artistic expression.
The process of creation is informal – I don’t make often sketches, usually the artwork is in my thoughts. I use sketchbooks, but more as an artistic diary; for example I note things and how they can be transferred into an artwork. After starting the painting, each step builds on the previous, leaving room for chance but also for corrections and erasures.
Give us a quick soundbite about your studio space - what do you love about it?
My studio is about 45 sqm, two rooms. In the larger one I’m working on my paintings, the other one is for packaging, breaks or studying. When I’m in my studio, I just want to focus my artwork. My studio is a really private place for me, my little kingdom. Even if it is nice to have visitors sometimes, I really love to be on my own. To have my own studio is a great advantage: No need to tidy up, I can stop work and continue it the next day exactly at the same point. It is a bit of a creative mess.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
There wasn’t one point when I knew. I started painting because it was something I wanted to do for my own. Over the years it became more and more something I needed, and I realized that painting is my vocation. I worked really hard on this, and hey, now I’m an artist!
Three artists (deceased or living) you’d most like to host at a dinner party?
Joan Mitchell, Rainer Fetting, Henning Strassburger and Franz Kline. Oh sorry, I've picked four. Excuse me, but I can’t disinvite one of them! And I’m not sure what to serve…
What does being creative mean to you?
I love being creative, working with my hands, making things grow. This is really satisfying – even moreso when the finished artwork makes people think about it and love it. Aside from the creative process, I also appreciate the manual work of building, stretching and priming my own frames. I really get engrossed in this, it’s the first encounter with a new work and a good start for the creative process; me and the canvas did get familiar with each other.
How did you discover spray paint? Was it a difficult medium to master?
I love to work with mixed media. Few of my paintings are only acrylics. I’m using charcoal, collage materials, oil pastels, soft pastels, markers… So I’m always looking for new materials. I discovered spray paint in a workshop with other artists and just tried it. And thank you for that, but I wouldn’t say, I master it already – one of the most exciting things as an artist is that even when you think you mastered something, the next moment shows you, that unexpected things happen…
Do you have a favourite or most meaningful piece?
Not for the piece itself. I love all of my artworks and they were all at the right spot at the right time. When I look at them now, they tell the story of my artistic development and changes of expression and style. Some pieces are more meaningful to me as others because they are path-changing works, marking a new point in my artistic development or certain experiences, that are important to me.
What motivates you to make more work?
The artworks and the creative process itself are motivating me to make more work. There is always something I want to try in another way, to repeat and to develop. It is also a great kick of motivation when a painting sells – this is the absolute proof that my efforts were worth it, that somebody values and loves my work. But more is a relative term: I create about 20 to 50 pieces a year (usually rather 20 than 50…), depending on size and technique. Making art is a time-consuming process for me and I can’t always control it.
Do you have a favourite or most meaningful piece?
Not for the piece itself. I love all of my artworks and they were all at the right spot at the right time. When I look at them now, they tell the story of my artistic development and changes of expression and style. Some pieces are more meaningful to me than others because they are path-changing works that mark a new point in my artistic development or certain experiences - these are important to me.