Petra Schott

Born 1953, Germany

Lives in: Frankfurt, Germany

Media: Painting

Describe your art in 2 words: Love, truth, freedom

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"My work revolves around visions, ideas and emotions in past and presence in a figurative-abstract way searching for freedom, lightness, liveliness and intensity. My studio is a space of experiment, pleasure, frustration and new beginnings. For the time being, I mostly love to work with oil. My inspiration comes more from the inside rather than from a direct external trigger."

What themes does your work involve?
My artwork is about inner processes and digestion of what I see around me. Of course, it is not a direct pictorial representation of inspiring or depressing experiences, views or situations. I could best compare my work to a poem - instead of an essay. I express myself in a way that leaves a lot of space for interpretation. It is not a one-dimensional language of colours and shapes, but - if I am successful - opens up for new views and experiences of the viewer. My recent themes included the elements air, water and earth and the colours of green and blue. In times of pandemic, I have realised that I draw a lot of consolation from the colours which nature offers to us. Also, I have worked on a series called "Introspection" which is more about my daily feelings as a woman in these times.
Describe your creative process.
When I start working in my studio I try to achieve a state of receptiveness. I am surrounded by works that are in the middle of a process and I don't know how to go on or which speak to me and inspire me to go on. I try to let the works speak to me and listen to them and not to force my will upon them. I start a painting with priming the canvas and then choosing the colours I want to start with. Recently this was very often green and blue oil colours. As oil has a slow drying process I always work parallel on several work cycles, smaller and bigger ones. If I feel not having enough energy for the bigger ones I will work on a small one that catches my attention. Very often works remain for a longer time quietly in a corner - and then suddenly inspiration comes.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
My work can be inspired by everything around me, colours, a shade of grey on a furniture, a poem, artworks by another artist, a walk in nature, music, memories. I take this up for a first movement on the empty canvas but very quickly the work develops its own progress and pace. I have to be patient enough to let it evolve. Being in this creative flow makes me happy - it is like learning a language of its own which offers so many ways to express myself.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
It is of course a very personal question because good art is different for every artist. For an abstract artist, it is something else than for a figurative artist and again it differs for a political artist. For me, good art makes me hold my breath by the excitement I feel, it touches me like a cold morning shower or with the soft subtlety of a poem, it wakes me up like a shot of ginger juice. It is good when it makes me think and feel, when I see something new and bold happen in this work, something fresh and unseen, something holding deep emotion and truth.
What is the role of the artist today?
There is not ONE role for the artist in our society and it cannot be defined. Art is a great medium of expression because it is so wide and open. Often we can define only later what an artist has brought to us. To put it very wide, for me art is freeing our traditional way of seeing and experiencing our world.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist