Featured Artist- “Fly High” by Beate Köhne
We are showing your painting, titled “Fly High”, and started talking about this some weeks ago, when you were still working on it.
Q: How long does it take to finish a painting?
A: Oh, you never know. I usually have a very quick start, and then it takes a long time until it is completed. This mostly happens to me. I have never been afraid of the white canvas. I could start something new every day. But sometimes it would be easier if somebody else would finish it for me (laughs).
Q: Do you have a concept or how do you start?
A: I never know what will happen, and this makes my profession so attractive for me. I don’t even think about the colors I will use. They appear – in accordance to the time of the year mostly. Every beginning is very playful. I am able to surprise myself and I often go home from the studio very satisfied, when I just started a new canvas. If you have some background, based on experience and studies, you can just rely on the moment and let things loose. Continuing it is more like a puzzle – you have to find the missing pieces, they have to be put in the right places. Which means you definitely have to take decisions to strengthen the composition. And each single step leads to more decisions. Sometimes you can only make one brushstroke a day because you have to think more and to move less. But the challenge is to hide the struggle. The viewer is supposed to find only lightness when a painting is finished.
Q: So lightness is something you want to express?
A: Absolutely. Lightness, airiness, dynamics, movement… These themes became more and more important over the years. 20 years ago my paintings were much more dense. I used a lot of oil paint. Nowadays I sometimes use oil paint like watercolors. I pour it, wipe it, drip it. And I don’t work on the easel any more, because the diluted oil paint would run down. I put the canvas on the studio floor, so even thinned paint dries an the place. The adds to the feeling of lightness and absence of gravity.
Q: Could you tell us something about the title of your work?
A: I try to find titles, which don’t tighten the attentiveness too much, but permit some association. There is a lot of joy in this painting and a lot of airiness. There are these petal-like forms, some of them organic, others amporph, and there are these summery colors. I guess that’s why I had in mind that somebody is tossing a bridal bouqhet, which flies high in the air.. But I don’t care if nobody else sees this. The reception of a painting is – and should be – very personal.
Beate Köhne is a Berlin based internationally exhibiting artist. Before establishing herself as a fulltime artist in 2012 she took classes in drawing and painting for 12 years, for example the class of Norbert Bisky at International Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria.Since 2005 Beate Köhne shows her work on a regular basis in solo and group shows in Germany and abroad and takes successfully part in Art Fairs. She was awarded with several “Artist in Residence” grants. Her work belongs to private collections in Germany, the USA, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Russia and the Netherlands.