Life brings us to unexpected halts at times and we need to pause and reflect on our way forward?while we wait, we discover forgotten talents, those rooted in us waiting to burst forth. As we take time to unravel these treasures, a spark is ignited within and the path is changed forever. Our artist in conversation today is the lovely Kathrin Floge, speaking with her was truly refreshing as she took us on her journey through art. She explains herself to be a very practical person and this was clearly evident during the interview. While the COVID 19 pandemic has been a grim period for many of us Kathrin took the challenge to tap in to her artistic soul and create some of the most beautiful pieces of art and share them, thereby spreading some love and laughter amongst her friends and family. Her creations rich in color and has an easy flow. We are very excited to share her interview with you today.
How long have you been painting?
I have been painting since I was very very young. My Grandmother influenced me and she was my inspiration. She was a very good artist and I learnt so much from her. I am now 54 years old. J I persistently moved on to studying art and French for a teaching degree. Somehow along the way I gave less time for art and more for music. My days were devoted to playing the piano. But last year with the pandemic I am more involved in painting again.
Who are your greatest influencers?
I admire Paul CÚzanne the French artist, for his quest to create a harmony parallel to nature within the boundaries of a painting through pictorial means. I am very close to nature and admire the perfection of colours, shapes, movements and sounds, which for me consists in a balance but also a tension of forces. I find this balance in the work of some other artists as well. I believe they influence me in one way or another. For example, Wassily Kandinsky, the Russian artist, for his search for the connection between color tones and musical notes. Henri Matisse, the French artist for the serenity in his paintings which I admire.
Did you have a formal education on art and painting or are self-taught?
Yes, I studied art at the University of Bremen from 1987 - 1993.
Do you have a particular style? How did you become so passionate of this style?
I prefer not to commit myself to a style, for me, Art is a creative process. Which means there is a continuous search for something new. I have been told that my paintings are characterized by their expressive colorfulness and unique brushwork.
What are other passions other than art? How have these passions contributed for you to become the artist you are today?
I love nature and classical music. Especially piano music - Bach, Mozart, Schubert to name a few. I have played the piano for over 15 years. My current teacher is an Italian pianist and composer Manuel Malandrini, he is also a painter. For a very long time, I have been trying to learn how to translate the sounds, rhythms and moods in to art or paintings. It all began with the representational paintings of the Elbphilharmonie at the Hamburg Harbour. I was searching for the expressions of the background, the sounds of ships, people, the sounds of the bells of the Michel and the imaginary concert at the Philharmonic Hall. I believe I found them in rudiments in my last painting "Hamburg". My latest painting, which is an abstract is a representation of the 2nd movement of the Piano concerto in C major by my teacher Manuel Malandrini. I've named it "Springtime walk". I leave it to my audience to decide for themselves if I have succeeded.
Could you walk us through the process? Percentage wise, how much time do you spend preparing for the painting and how much time on the actual painting itself? Is preparation an important part of your process?
I believe that preparation and implementation take about the same amount of time. I think a lot before I paint, my head is always working, either I have melodies or ideas for painting. At some point, I get the impulse to paint and then I continue for 2 -3 days for many hours without a break and I often forget everything around me. I work quickly but conscientiously, I feel energized when I find my thoughts painted on a canvas. Sometimes it is a desperate struggle, at others it is a pleasurable piecing together of color.
Are you engaged in new artistic adventures? How is artistic exploration important to you as an artist and to your process? How do you then decide what to incorporate into your style and what you leave as pure fun?
Yes, I am engaged in artistic adventures. Right now I am trying to understand the relationship between music and painting. Since we were not allowed to travel with the first Corona Lockdown, I started painting for friends, their favourite places and giving them as gifts. It was a training to get back in to painting. As a small business idea, I requested people to send their favorite place according to a picture or an idea for me to paint and I have already painted motifs which was very challenging. But I learnt to find solutions and different methods which I think is an enriching experience. Art for me, is a constant search and it is a journey I truly enjoy!
Was there a particular moment where you could tell that your skills had just crossed over into being an exceptionally good painter instead of a pretty good painter? What did you do make that leap?
I don't think I'm an exceptionally good painter. But I have found a passion that, together with music, is very fulfilling and allows me to have extraordinary relationships with people with similar interests. Nevertheless, people I associate, who are successful painters themselves, and also the curator of an exhibition venue in Hamburg, have encouraged me to continue painting. And at last but not least, I am motivated by the surprisingly high number of paintings I have sold in such a short time.
How do you push yourself? Do you set goals for yourself? And if so, what are the goals? Do you think setting goals is important for an artist in his/her artistic journey? If so why?
In general, one should set goals, be it to accept a task or to implement an idea, goals keep us focused.
I deliberately don't set any far-reaching goals, but I look at the short term to see what opportunities present themselves and how I deal with them. A very personal goal in the recent past has been to search for forms of expression of music / sounds through painting, which has also been significantly shaped by the dialogue with my friend and piano teacher Manuel Malandrini.
How is your experience working with Aartzy? Do you think it is a useful planform for artists?
I find Aartzy to be a very human platform, friendly and honest towards the artists, run by intelligent and successful people. This is evident to me right now in answering the really intelligent questions in this interview. Of course this platform is useful for artists! Any possibility of presentation in the art market is valuable and good for the self-image of artists and it presents an opportunity to generate an income as well.
Kathrin's entire collection can be seen at https://www.aartzy.com/artist/kathrin-floge02/17/2021