My name is Dagmar Olschewski and I live in Germany, near Luxembourg. Together with my three sons, my husband and some animals, I have been living on an old farm for several years, surrounded by fields, meadows and forests, without neighbors. It is a quiet, peaceful life and each of us has plenty of time and space to find individual potential, to experiment with it and to develop it.
When someone’s talent ignites a flame in you, something incredible happens. You discover within yourself a world of color and images that has always been waiting to be brought to life. Suddenly the flame becomes so vast, that in which, your creativity comes to life.
In my case it was my son, who tempted me to play with brushes and to paint. He has been drawing and painting since he could hold a pen in his hand. Now that he has grown up, the many years of enthusiastic practice and experimentation have made him a real artist.
I was always interested in diving into the artistic realm however it was the enthusiasm I felt from my sons work that pushed me to express my own inner feelings through words, image, color and painting. I began to find a flow in my my writing. The words soon became stories that touched and opened new worlds. I embarked on a professional path which allowed me to foster and burnish this newly found strength. Now I am almost 50 years old, have taken some radical turns in my life but my love of writing has never left me.
Then, two years ago, a Schmincke watercolor paint box fell into my hands from my son’s inventory. I wouldn’t have ever thought that it would steer my life in a completely new direction. I continue to maintain my current job. I’m still writing. I’m still living with my family in our old house on the edge of the Eifel Forest (in Germany), but my world has changed.
Every free minute draws into this new world of color through painting. The old paint box still exists but my tool box has certainly grown. The Mijello Mission Gold colors have become my staple material due to their luminosity, suppleness. I have also grown a liking for the exquisite shades from Daniel Smith. They harness incomparable properties and are dazzling treasures of this colorful variety.
Hahnemühle Cézanne paper allows me to experiment with new techniques constantly, as I love to experiment with different types of paper. Again and again I am drawn to Yupo paper, which is rather slippery on one side, like a soaped-up tile floor. Finally, I also enjoy heavy handmade paper, which, depending on the level of moisture, absorbs colors like a sponge. The number of my brushes I use continues to grow steadily. Only a few find themselves in a dusty old drawer.
I choose my motifs from nature. I love landscapes, skies, rivers, trees and flowers. They inspire me and it is easy for me to paint them. People and architecture are a challenge for me and I only approach in small steps. And yet that has a special charm. It will probably take a lot of practice before I can show useful results.
Being self-taught, I experiment with all mediums and techniques. I try new colors, papers, brushes and methods. While some things succeed, some don’t. Yet this is all part of the process. I occasionally forget that painting should be fun and therapeutic. During these times a failed painting can ruin a day.
When looking at the work of other artists, I sometimes convince myself that I will never be able to truly paint. But when I think of the colorful world inside of me again, I can’t help but pick up the brush again. What I have only been able to describe in words over the years, I can now also put on paper. In this manner, I release my thoughts and feelings into the world; a play of form and color, of light and shadow.
A first attempt in which I let words and colors flow together was created in winter: a book with my current texts and pictures. The two go together, the words gave rise to colors, and the pictures formed new thoughts. Another book already exists inside of me …
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