Painting - About the Themes

Sari 2
The Rain Dancer
The Facade
Red Door
Dry Land

Painting in general has been described here. The following description is about the inspirational process and the themes. The paintings are all gallery wrapped and mounted on stretcher frames.

is a series of paintings from a photo documentation about the Olympic Student Village in Munich.
In 1966 Munich was awarded the Olympic Games for 1972. The Oberwiesenfeld, an undevelopped district of the city, became the Olympia Park and developed later into a famous touristic attraction because of its futuristic roofs.
Part of the Olympia Park was a conglomeration of tiny, 2-story bungalows which first served as appartments for the athletes and after the games became part of the student housing of the Ludwig-Maximilian University and connected institutes, mostly for foreign students.
In 2002 part of those bungalows were renovated for the EM (European Athletics Championship) and again became part of the housing of the athletes during the contest.

A famous characteristic feature of the the Student Village were the murals and paintings on the bungalows, expressing the European spirit of the times with graffiti and bright colours, motifs from comics and other subjects, a very colourful collection of images.
The bungalows are in a desolate condition after 35 years. The city decided to tear them down and rebuild them with new units rather than renovating them. The new bungalows will be even a bit smaller but providing more appartments for future students. The sad thing is, that all the paintings will be lost, as well as the charming green jungle, that grew up in the past 35 years including some smashing wonderful cherry trees, which were a feast for the eye each spring.

Therefore I decided to put up a little "memorial" by creating a last photo documentation and turning these photos into a series of paintings.

Magic Landscapes
is a series that explores the magic of landscapes and special places, the moments of awe when we see the wonders that are created by nature rather than human phantasy, the moments of spiritual connection with the past and the future and the moments of transformation through human imagination.

"Dry Land" is a semi-surrealistic landscape. Fascinated by the colours of the desert, which can change completely during a day, I tried to show the paradoxa of a landscape that obey the natural laws of nature. While the dune like formations seem to be a solid mass, the surface of the dried river bed appears fragile and delicate. But in reality the opposite is true: dunes are the fragile element, ever changing with the wind and the dried river bed has turned into solid earth, hard as stone when the water is all gone.

"Underworld" is the landscape beneath our feet, hidden from the human eye and can only be accessed when the fear of the dark is conquered. The reward is a beauty that goes beyond imagination. The view into the inner world offers many surprises and opens the door to a new awareness.

"Frozen" is a semi-surrealistic landscape that represents loneliness and the stand-still of all life. But the movement in the sky promises change and the light indicates a tiny spark of hope.

"Monuments of Guilin" was inspired by the landscapes of Guilin in China's southern province Guangxi which are truely magical. Painters have been inspired by this motif for centuries until today. Anyone who has ever seen these landscapes in reality has fallen to its magic of continuously changing sceneries. At each bend the river Li takes another breathtaking view and makes it even easier for the viewer to believe all the legends and dramatic love stories Chinese people have in their repertoire.

"Ayutthaya" is another of those special places which emanate an aura of magic and fascination ancient sites have in common. Ayutthaya (1350 - 1767) was once the golden capital of the ancient kingdom of Siam (Thailand) - a magical city with about one million inhabitants around 1700. It was destroyed by the Burmese and finally abandoned. Bangkok became the new capital.
Today nothing is left but ruins. Only hundreds of Buddha statues, partially intact or restored, prangs (reliquary towers) and monasteries, which form the Ayutthaya historical park, create a place of great magic and belong to the UNESCO World Heritage.

Magic Fossils and Minerals
is a series about some of my favourite subjects - the treasures of the earth. As I have been a collector of minerals and fossils through my whole life because of the beauty, forms and abundance of colours of stones, minerals and crystals it is only natural that they also appear in my paintings. Photographs can be a mirror of the subject but paintings grab the essence of an object or theme which lies beneath the reality - at least this is my challenge.

"Triassic Prints I-III" are inspired by fossils enclosed in all kinds of minerals and stones. Billions of years ago, when the earth was born out of stardust and gases, life was brought from meteors and comets. Their injections made life possible on our planet, plants being among the first living beings on the land. Calamites in the Carboniferous and Permian period grew large like trees - today's horsetails are tiny in comparison. Ferns also belong to the oldest plants on earth. Therefore these "prints" from ancient times represent something that should be held sacred for all times: life

Magic Creatures
is the third milestone of the concept to show the magic that surrounds us. This series is about the magic of wildlife creatures, unusual views and details that most people are unaware of. Although realism is always part of my paintings, imagination has taken the leadership here. These painted momentos from memory, experience and phantasy are meant to evoke interest for the "real" living being.

"Humpback" tells about the world beneath the surface. It is not silent - it is loud, full of sounds from fish and other creatures. Most people funnily believe that fish are silent - they are not. You would not believe how they burp, grunt and make all kind of noises - even the tiniest ones. Everything clicks, crackles and rastles - it's a continuous cacophony. But the most incredible sound comes from the humpback whales.
The Humpback is the whale we know the most about and yet so little. They feed in arctic waters and mate and breed in warm waters towards the equator, travelling thousands of kilometers from the north or from the south but never cross the line. Their intelligence is amazing and they are able to communicate over hundreds of miles with sounds that appear to us humans like pure magic. They are the most peaceful of animals and the most forgiving because, although they have been murdererd by the thousands, they still meet us in their natural environment with curiosity and great sensibility.

"Sepia" is also about the world beneath the surface and its miracles. Did you ever see the wedding dance of the sepia (cuttlefish)? It is like a ballet where the dancers wear tutus with magic colours. To us humans it seems sad that most sepia die after the mating, when the females have laid their eggs for the next generation and the males have done their job also. But this is the eternal cycle of life.

"Nautilus" or the Pearlboat of the Deep Sea as it is also called, has its home mainly in the archipelago of Palau. The chambered nautilus is a "living fossil" whose relatives date back half a billion years. The nautilus lives at depths of 600m and can be found in the habitats of the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is an active swimmer, propelling itself close to the sea floor by expelling water from its movable siphon.
Researchers of the University of Hawaii have found out that the nautili mate and lay eggs in slightly warmer waters. Assumption is made that nautili enter shallower depths to lay their eggs on hard surfaces like rocks or coral. In 1990 the Waikiki Aquarium successfully hatched its first young nautilus in captivity. For the above reasons it is extremely difficult to observe the nautlius in its natural environment so that hardly anything is known about its habits. Therefore it is important to protect this beautiful animal before we lose the opportunity to get to know it.

Magic Symbols
is a series of silk paintings about the symbols and secrets of ancient cultures mankind has surrounded himself since the beginning of time. The single images are multi-layered, each telling different stories about the human past, the beliefs, the fears, the longing for protection and hopes for a fullfilled life. No matter how old thoses symbols are and from which region of the world they come from and what they stand for - they keep returning from century to century, from one language to another. While the landscapes of the ancient cultures might have changed due to climatic or socio-political transformations their heritage has not. They left us the fundaments of human civilization.

"Minoans I and II" were inspired by ancient images found on pottery, frescos and jewellery. The delicate images and patterns have been repeated and copied in thousands of objects until today and still have not lost their charm.

"Bactria" was inspired by the high cultures of ancient Afghanistan. But it is more than a simple piece of replica of ancient art and craft. It also shows the deep conflict and disunity of a country that has lost its identity. Not only does it show women in their typical disguise but also their exclusion from public life and freedom by placing them - without the faces - in front of closed doors.

"Tassili I and II" were inspired by the elegance of ancient rock paintings that were found in the center of the Sahara. A revival of their vividness and simplicity was the intent for this painting, a recreation of the same joy and lust with which those lives and natural environment has been documented.

"Mesopotamia" is about the ancient country that is supposed to be the land with the earliest known Tree of Life symbol.
For almost every society and for more than 5000 years trees have been a symbol of life, providing material for constructing homes and all sorts of vessels, to make fire in order to supply food, for transportation etc. All the great civilizations of Sumer and Assyria, Egypt and China, Greece and Rome would not have emerged without the wood of the forests.
But the Tree of Life was even more than that. Its mythology has always been a component of nearly every culture, a link between earth and heaven, with its roots deep in the soil and the branches reaching into the sky and thus unifying both.

Ancient "Maya" believed in recurring cycles of creation and destruction. They had a very precise view of how earth and heaven was built up in layers and where trees were supposed to support the sky. The image is showing Pacal Votan descending the tree of life.
For the Maya the tree of life represented the world center, it constituted a symbolic vertical line uniting the three realms of underworld, earth and heaven. The Mayan considered the Milky Way itself as the world tree especially at the time when Sagittarius was well over the horizon and the Milky Way rose up from the horizon and climbed overhead into the North. The star clouds that form the Milky Way were seen as the tree of life where all life came from.

Although each tree had different meanings to the ancient "Celts", the tree represented a source of wisdom and hope and was the link between the upper and lower worlds, a reminder of the eternal cycle of the seasons.
Within Celtic tradition, the great oak tree is the most revered and the Druids are said to have worshipped it most among the others. The ancient Celts had a kinship with trees which is shown in their magical alphabet and in their Tree Calendar. The old Celtic word for oak (Duir) is believed to be the origin of the word Druid.
The Celts believed that many trees were inhabited by spirits, as some trees are found to have a strong aura surrounding them. They also believed that the aura of certain trees could have a healing influence on humans.

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