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  • Writer's pictureWerner Hartmann

My Inspiration and Process?

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

I’m not interested in telling a story with my paintings. I’m interested in the immediate impact they have – your first impression, your first reaction. Yes, no? Good, bad? Finished, unfinished? Do you like the painting or do you not like the painting? Superficial? Maybe so, but I do believe that a good painter must be a good decorator. Do you think it would look good in your space? Beautification.

My paintings are inspired by a split second moment – an observation, an unexpected inspiring view during a car trip, hike or bike ride – a quick chance look to the right or left – a quick image.

And so the process begins. I don’t do plein air sketches and I don’t take photographs – I always paint from memory and never from life. And that is ok, because I believe nature itself is not really good with composition, and that is where a painter steps in to reproduce the observed image in a way that brings that initial impression to the canvas so that it can be shared with you, the viewer.

In the studio I make sketches of this image. First a very rough impressionistic sketch, then more detailed sketches to reproduce the composition and the light of the scene. I start painting directly without drawing or underpainting. Blocking in, darks first, then lights.

A painter, a serious painter never really thinks about making art. A painter knows what he wants to paint but needs to figure out how to paint it. It is firstly about solving problems, technical problems. Creating art while painting is secondary.

At the end, a painting is never finished. It is just abandoned by the artist at a certain point.

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