Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The wonderful Dorothea Schulz

We were really excited recently to hear that one of our artist guests has just had her first solo exhibition at the German Bookshop in Brussels. Dorothea Schulz has visited us twice before and we're really honoured to be the proud owners of one of her paintings. I thought now would be the perfect opportunity to catch up with her and share her beautiful work with you.

Burgundy Dreamer: You must be thrilled at the success of your first solo exhibition – have you had a chance to reflect on what this has meant to you?

D: In the career of every budding artist comes a time when painting alone isn't enough; you want to share the fruits of your creativity with others. It is all well and good when Mom tells you:”I love your paintings” – she is biased after all! Getting recognition from others is enormously important. Selling a painting for me is not primarily about the money (though it’s nice to recover some of one’s expenses for art materials and workshops) It means that someone likes your painting so much that he/she is willing to open his/her wallet to be able to take it home!

BD: What is the attraction of painting with pastels for you?

D: I love everything about pastels; the tactility and immediacy of the medium, the brilliant colours – pastels have the purest pigments of all painting mediums because they contain very little binder – even the messiness. Once you've fallen under their spell there’s no coming back.

BD: How do you go about selecting a subject to paint?

D: I do my still-lives mostly from nature but with the weather in Belgium being what it is, I often use my own photo references for landscapes. I have been a keen photographer for a long time which helps enormously because a good photo reference is already half the battle. Another advantage: using my own photos means that the selection process for a subject that appeals to me has already taken place.

BD: Which of your paintings has given you greatest satisfaction?

D: Every new painting is a favourite for a time. It usually takes me several weeks to get unattached enough to consider giving it up for adoption i.e.  selling it. A few though will never be sold because they are too special to me, mostly paintings of family members (my daughter - above, or my sister’s adorable cat) or paintings which have a special significance in my artistic progress.

BD: From an artist’s perspective, what is it that appeals to you about painting in and around Montmelard in particular and southern Burgundy in general?

D: The quiet beauty of the landscape around Montmelard and the conviviality and friendliness of the hosts at ‘Les Cerisiers’ add up to such a feeling of well-being that creativity can’t but thrive. Coming there for a second time already felt like coming home. And there is such a wealth to discover in the Maconnais that I’ll certainly be back!

BD: Landscape, buildings or people, which is your preference?

D: I don’t have a real preference, my inclinations change with my mood. I must confess though that architecture as such is not my favourite subject, because I'm a rather impatient person and getting the perspective right takes rather too long for me.
But of course buildings do have their place as part of a landscape.

BD: Your work has featured on the front cover of a local magazine (see 'chateau' below), what was your reaction to this?

D: I was delighted and surprised! That painting had been purely a fun painting, not at all in my usual style and I hadn’t expected its ‘success’.Merci, Mme le Maire!

BD: Having sold eight paintings at the show so far and commissions on top of this, to quote you  ‘So now I am officially a professional artist’. What next for you in this new role?

D: I definitely need business cards now – and my own website. At the moment I'm looking
around the internet to compare different artist’s websites to see what appeals to me most.

BD: If you have a really big dream with regards to your art, would you share it?

D: I don’t have one big dream; mine are rather more modest. I hope that I‘ll continue to grow in my art, find loving homes for some of my ‘children’ - and never, ever get arthritis in my fingers!!!

As soon as Dorothea has set up her website I'll be sure to post the details here.