We are today on a visit to Mrs. Ulrike Neuhaus, Artist in Schleswig-Holstein to get to know her better. With these hot temperatures, we brought our swimming trunks with us to treat us to a ‘cooling’ in the swimming pool at the same time. Here is a short excerpt from our conversation:
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your passion
My name is Ulrike Neuhaus, I was born in Dortmund in 1949.
I don’t like the phrase “I was already good at painting as a child” at all, because almost all children can paint. But I say it for a reason because when I was in the 4th grade of elementary school, we should paint the coat of arms of NRW. I thought there was a horse on it, which I wanted to paint. In no time at all I had painted the horse, the teacher came, slapped me right and left, and asked where that was from, I had not painted that. I said I must have. Then she said if you drew that, then go to the blackboard and draw that again. I did. There was no trace of apology. The teachers were not squeamish shortly after the war. When I got home I said, “I’m not going back there, she’s going to beat me. Then the next day my mother went to school and reprimanded the teacher, since then she had not touched me again.
2. How did you start? What did you do for a living?
I believe that the artistic vein is born in the cradle. I always distinguish between painter and artist. Good painters can reproduce everything true to nature, artists don’t have so much interest in that, they have to put together their own pictures and composition.
I had a child very early, so I stopped my training as an industrial clerk. A while later I worked in the hospital as an administrative assistant, until my retirement age. Family life in my in-laws’ house was just very very difficult for me. When I eventually made the jump and lived alone, I began to paint in a phase of mental balance. I painted flowers and landscapes and when I was done, I put everything away again. I painted at the dining table and at some point, everything stayed there and nothing was put away. After that, I set up a studio for myself in a room. I went to the art school in Bochum-Wattenscheid in a studio work group, where everyone could paint what he wanted and in what technique. I liked that very much and it was also very helpful. There was always a lecturer there.
3. Is this passion a hobby or how do you see it?
I don’t see my passion, painting, as a hobby. It is a vocation. I invest so much time and also thought that I feel like an outsider. I can be very well alone and can also sit quietly for half an hour in front of an empty canvas and make my thoughts. Maybe that’s already the rough preliminary drawing.
4. As a ‘creative’ spirit, what do you want to communicate to the viewer?
I have tried many things, the first watercolor, then pencil drawings, pastel, acrylic, charcoal then came to the oil paints, where I then stayed, because the colors in their creamy consistency are made for me. Abstract painting, seascapes, cityscapes, figurative paintings, and currently abstract harbor landscapes I have always painted in phases. In the back of my mind are now musicians again, but until the harbor landscapes are finished, it may still take, who knows? The head must always remain in motion and I always have the opportunity to paint something else.
5. Do you feel you connect with your audience and why?
There are pictures that I would like to explain to the viewer, but often the viewer sees something different than what I was thinking when I painted. That is often exciting, but also more often to smile. A connection with the audience often arises in the exhibition, which then runs cheerfully to cheerful.
6. Have you received awards for your work? How did that come about?
Since 2016, I have applied more often, that is, every year with different images to galleries to get a prize. So far this has only been enough to get to the preliminary round, but this year at the Art Show International Gallery in Los Angeles, I won prizes, in various categories such as Abstract, Animal, Color, Portrait, and Water.
Until Corona I showed my paintings in exhibitions, the last exhibition was in the Kunsthaus in Kappeln as a collective exhibition, but it was canceled because of Corona.
7. How do you market your paintings and are they for sale?
Unfortunately, I am a bad seller of my paintings, but in October 2021 I have been contacted by the company Balthasar, whether I want to sell my paintings it the company opened in January 2022. I was wondering if it is worth the effort, of course, it is not free. Then I said to myself, I can try it out for 1 year, now I have already sold some pictures, which made me very happy.
I hope this small contribution has given an insight into my artist life. All my paintings on the website and my paintings at Balthasar can be purchased.
We would like to thank Ulrike Neuhaus for the great conversation and the visit.