BARBARA STRATMANN

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Barbara Stratmann contact information

Barbara Stratmann painting in her studio.

Being an artist and sharing my works with the world makes me feel very privileged and deeply grateful – especially since I never thought this could be my path.

  

Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it. Salvador Dalí

 

I always loved to create things, but I started painting only a decade ago – originally simply out of curiosity: striving to find out how other artists create those beautiful structures and color effects that I admired so much in a painting a very close artist friend created for me.

Blue Moon, 80cm x 80cm. Acrylic, modelling paste, marble powder, cardboard, sand, ashes, rust and ink on canvas (frame 1,8 depth).

Creativity takes courage. Henri Matisse

 

And so, I started experimenting and in the process, I discovered that painting can actually be an emotional outlet and new way of expressing myself, like a new language, translating emotions into shapes, textures and colors. As the emotional person that I am, I found that painting can not only be extremely stimulating, joyful and relaxing, but that it can also help to heal mental wounds or help to resolve emotional struggles. I experienced that abstract works are coming naturally to me and that I can lose myself in the process of creating an abstract painting, ignoring any rules, and completely forgetting about time and place.

Liquid Fires, 80cm x 60cm. Acrylic, ink, modelling paste, marble powder on canvas (frame 3,8 depth).

When I start a new project, I like to create a clear basic composition for my paintings, often almost geometrical, but many of the details are unplanned for and happen almost accidentally, covering up and taking away the initial rigidness of the composition. That is what I like – it is just like in nature itself: there’s always a balance: rigidness versus flexibility, strength versus frailty, decay versus new beginnings – if you are willing to let it happen.

Flow, 120cm x 100cm. Acrylic, modelling paste, marble powder, sand, rust, ink, on canvas (frame 3,8 depth).

Speaking of decay, I’ve always seen a certain beauty in decay, and am experimenting a lot with rust and marble powder, also because the rusting process or the process of marble powder paste drying up and cracking is not really controllable or foreseeable, hence adding a surprise element to my paintings. I’ve come to like these unplanned elements very much in my work – although I’m generally a perfectionist and very diligent person who wants to be in control. To me, painting indeed is a good exercise in letting go!  

B_Squared, 80cm x 60cm. Acrylic, modelling paste, cardboard, marble powder, sand, ink, rust on canvas (frame 3,8 depth).

I begin with an idea. And then it becomes something else. Pablo Picasso

 

The perfectionist in me however usually has an idea what or how I want to paint, and sometimes I even do sketches that I try to stick to when starting a new painting, but ever so often, over time, the painting takes over and seems to create itself, layer after layer, creating depth and intensity in the process. That’s when the magic happens: when you as an artist let go, let your emotions speak through paint and pastes, and just let things happen on the canvas. That’s when the best elements of a painting are born!

Clipped, 80cm x 80cm. Acrylic, ink, modelling paste, marble powder, rust on canvas (frame 3,8 depth).

Being someone who loves to be outdoors and active, walking or running or working in the garden, I find my inspirations in nature – I’m fascinated by nature’s own and also man-made textures and structures, and I love earthly, rusty, calm colors that don’t stress the eye. My artworks are created using mainly acrylic colors and inks, rust, various modeling pastes and powders, as well as different media like cardboard, sand, ground coffee or sawdust, all on framed canvas, mostly with a 3.8 cm depth. It is important to me to always integrate also the sides of the frames into the painting so that my works don’t need to be extra framed.

In the line of fire, 100cm x 100cm. Acrylic, modelling paste, marble powder, sand, ink, on canvas (frame 3,8 depth).

I was born in 1972 and am living and working in Neuss, North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, with an incredibly supportive husband and two lovely cats. Apart from painting, I’m a passionate cook and host for friends, and also I enjoy reading or occasionally watching a TV series – or I am outdoors, finding new inspiration.

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