Whenever artists show their work, they are really allowing the rest of us to see their soul. It takes an enormous amount of bravery to remove your emotional clothes and let people see you naked – Eve Ozer
What is ART according to you?
Every expression of life is art. I believe we are all born creative. Our act of birth is our first manifestation of our creative expression. And from there it is our responsibility and our right to express our unique, authentic selves through whatever means inspires us.
You say you entered this world like a rebel, tearing out of the womb. Can you show us a glimpse of your childhood?
To begin, my mother lost her water in her 7th month, so she delivered a “dry birth”. She remembers the pain, I thankfully do not. However, moving through a dry birth canal had to be a challenge.
We lived in Morbach, a small village in Germany. When I was about 7, I snuck into a neighbor’s strawberry patch and ate every delicious red berry in her garden. This poor woman had been waiting for just the right moment to pick those berries and make something wonderful for herself. Thanks to me, she had to imagine their sweetness until the following year. I was constantly getting into mischief. I invented a best friend, her name was Ila, and together we created a world of disobedience, secret fun and havoc.
Once we moved to the states, I continued to be a thorn in my parent’s side. They were voracious readers. I refused to read a book until 5th grade when my teacher gave me a copy of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. After that, I regularly escaped into the fantasy of novels.
I dated “bad boys”, was a regular in the high school detention hall, married a man my parents did not approve of and crushed their dreams of going to college. I was going to a four year, all girls Catholic school and lucky to graduate. I literally ran away from home about six months before graduation. I lived with the parents of my soon to be husband, worked in a grocery store and went to class. I got married about two months before graduating. If the nuns had known, I don’t believe they would have allowed me to graduate with my class.
Born in Germany, what led you to move to the United States?
I had no choice in the matter. When I was about four my mother met a man in the U.S. Air Force, stationed in Wiesbaden. She married him and when he was sent back to The States, we went with him. Our new family consisted of my mother, my new father, me and a little brother.
Your fascination for “lines” is evident in your creations. What makes them so prominent?
I’m not sure. When I paint, I try to put myself into a state of non-awareness. More as an observer, allowing my subconscious self to come forward. The lines are part of that process. I always begin each piece with what Robert Motherwell called “cosmic doodling”. Sometimes these lines get buried deep into the layers and other times, they reappear at a later stage. I don’t question them, I simply step back and absorb them.
Your favorite piece of ART and why?
I honestly cannot answer that question. There are just too many profound pieces of art. To pick one would diminish the rest. I admire and am inspired by past artists as well as contemporary artists. I can say the artist who has had the greatest influence on my way of seeing my work is Robert Motherwell. I was first introduced to him and his work at a workshop in Taos, NM. My instructor suggested I watch a documentary; Robert Motherwell & the New York School, Storming The Citadel.
That was a game changer for me. I watched the documentary three times in a row, took extensive notes and wrote a blog about it titled – Do I Need A Cigarette For These Heavy Thoughts? Motherwell was a brilliant thinker. Watching that documentary was like watching him think. I learned a lot about the abstract expressionist movement and was introduced to many more artists from that era.
Do you believe Artists see the world differently? If yes, how do you see the world today? & Do you believe in love, ever embraced it into your art form?
I would like to answer these two questions by telling you how I got back into art. Up until 1986, my primary method of art making was graphite and pencil drawings. I drew people’s faces. Then in 1986, I met my future husband, got very involved in my career as a marketing and advertising executive for a radio station, and emotionally closed my studio.
I was still intensely interested in art, I just wasn’t practicing it. And I missed it.
In 2007 the Universe decided to intercede. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of that year. After going through surgery, chemo-therapy and radiation, I knew I needed to re-embrace my art. Even though I never felt I would die, I did see my mortality and literally felt the mortality clock ticking in my heart.
In October of that year, I took my first six week workshop. It was my emotional life saver. I had forgotten how much joy I experienced when I was making art.
So yes, I did and do see the world differently. I am grateful to be here and I am determined not to squander what God has given me to share with this world. Which is in essence, pure love.
What, according to you, are the vulnerabilities of an Artist?
Whenever artists show their work, they are really allowing the rest of us to see their soul. It takes an enormous amount of bravery to remove your emotional clothes and let people see you naked.
Ask any kindergarten child if they are an artist, and their face will light up and they will say yes! Now ask that same child in high school and they will likely look down and say no. Ask them as an adult, and they will mockingly say, “are you kidding. I can’t draw a stick figure.”
What happens to that pint- sized artist? How were their ideals and vision crushed and re-channeled into the everyday? Elizabeth Gilbert said, “our creativity is not benign.” If we stifle it, we become depressed, angry, bored and use drugs and alcohol to numb that little voice inside. People who nurture their creativity are happier, more joyful, more hopeful.
(Exclusive for Real Life Heroes – By Manvi)