Have a look at Gabriela's INSTALL VIEW & AVAILABLE WORKS from her residence.

One of my favorite things is talking to painters about what we do. I dont mean the big fancy words, i mean down to earth, clear, simple 'shop talk'. here's another round :


Yifat Gat - Gabriele Herzog / photos by Julia Gat

YG : When did you first knew you wanted to be a painter ?

GH : Maybe when i was 14. i spent two weeks at a brilliant art summer camp which was run by art tutors from the Basel school of art. i totally loved it. i then entered art school when i was 16.

YG : When were your recent painter ‘happy moments’ ?

GH : Now here - at this amazing artist residency - working in an inspiring space and meeting you, your family and your friends. installing my work and taking part in the exhibition at SMAHK in Assen, Holland last autumn. taking part in your ‘black and white’ project at Look&Listen. being involved in several exhibitions in the last couple of years. meeting in person, many new artists all over through Facebook. i always feel happy when i paint (I do of course have ‘big-doubt-days’) and recently figuring out more what my painter language is, is a nice ‘happy painter moment’.

YG : What impact did your family life had on your work (parents, partners, kids) ?

GH : I guess like for everyone who has kids, it did have a big impact on restructuring how i arranged a good work/family balance. but all that has brought me to where i am today.

YG : Looking back, when were your biggest challenges to get where you are today, and how did you overcome them?

GH : I think my biggest challenge has always been to find the time to paint. due to finance space and time. there were long stretches of time when i didn’t paint. as i got older i understood more how to ‘just do it’. i feel fortunate that i have been/still am now, able to do it at all.

YG : What are your current projects in or outside the studio ?

GH : Just painting in my studio in London and also in Berlin. trying to push my work. i get bored very easily with my work and so i always try to find new and uncomfortable ground. i am currently working on another artist’s book of mine to be self-published soon. and thinking about organizing/curating an exhibition in Berlin.

YG : Would you like to share about your practice? color-support-forms ?

GH : For now i mostly stretch my own smallish canvases with untreated cotton canvas. sometimes i use primed bought canvas as well, mainly when i want to work on a larger format. i paint with acrylic gesso gouache oil-stick and spray-paint. and during this residency i have been working only on paper (thank you :)) pushing me to work larger and faster.


YG : Can you elaborate on how social media influence your work ?

GH : Social media has transformed my life as an artist. i love the artist community on Facebook and Instagram. i feel very inspired and in awe by so many artists there. all the exhibitions and artist’s projects i have been involved in over the last two years are linked to fb in one way or another. social media is an incredible tool and platform.

YG : Anything else ?

GH : This residency has been so good for me and my work. to be in an unknown space opens up so many new possibilities i would never think of otherwise! i walk around the pretty village, sit in the beautiful and mysterious studio, look at the sky, the caves behind the house...... wow!!!

thank you Yifat for asking me about my work and thoughts.

* Gabriele stayed at St-Chamas for two weeks in Feb 2016. ( Merci Agathe ! ) The fruits of her residency where exhibited at the library gallery at Cornillon-Confoux. 

10Q&A with Erin Lawlor

The images in this 10Q&A are taken from Erin's first Museum exhibition PAINT.NOW at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen.

From the catalog :

Erin Lawlor (1969 ­ ) paints oil paintings using the ”wet­on­wet” technique, also called alla prima. Wet­on­wet is oil painting which is done without underpainting or intermediate drying. Lawlor’s paintings are created through a demanding physical process where the painter stands and the canvas is on the floor. With a large broom­like brush the paint is drawn across the surface in several layers, the process permitting the paint to ”find its own paths” on the canvas, flowing freely to the side, up, down and diagonally. It is thus the material itself which shapes the motif, which is composed of only pigments, brushstrokes and paints.

PAINT.NOW presents an example of oil painting today, and is a supplement to the exhibition PAINT which displays nine of the Glyptotek’s French masterpieces from the 19th century. These paintings are exhibited without their frames, where, instead, the exposed edges of the canvas invite a new perspective on technique and painting.

Erin Lawlor lived and worked in France from 1987 to 2012. Currently she lives and works in London. Recently she has had solo exhibitions at the George Lawson Gallery, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Gray Contemporary in Houston, Texas and at Galerie Klaus Braun, Stuttgart Germany.

- Line Clausen Pedersen, Curator.


YG : When did you first knew you wanted to be a painter?

EL : I drew and painted, and took pleasure in it, from my earliest childhood. But I was also a voracious reader and writer ­ it was after a few years in France, when I had the sense of being caught between two languages in both my life and my writing, that the impulse to paint began to come to the fore again, perhaps as a sidestep to that issue. I was also studying Art History at university in Paris at the time, and the more I looked at painting, the more frustrated I was not to be doing!


YG : what were your recent painter ‘happy moments’?

EL : So many... they occur, however briefly, every day in the studio. That is, after all what it is about. Those moments of forgetting oneself entirely, being absolutely caught up with and engaged in what is happening on the canvas. Otherwise ­ I have just been back to the Glytpotek to see the exhibition there with my sister for the first time since the opening, and it was a wonderful sensation to see the work, my work, in that context, but with a little more distance (and a little less stress!). And truly wonderful to see the response to the work there ­ the fact of that dialogue in itself, with the museum, and particularly Line Clausen Pedersen, the curator of both my exhibition and the ‘Paint’ show of French Masters that it is concurrent to, has been extraordinary; it has also been a pleasure and surprise to have had such lengthy conversations with others at the museum, visitors and spectators but also other museum personnel, including many of the guards, who seem moved by the work.


YG : What impact did your family life had on your work (parents, partners, kids)?

EL : I grew up in a household where painting, and art, were certainly both present and encouraged ­ on my mother’s side there have been generations of very proficient painters; but where paradoxically perhaps it was not considered as something you did as a career really. And I was academic, so that was certainly encouraged more in school (and society in general), as a direction to take...But it took me a long time to have the confidence to define myself as a painter. My ex­husband’s parents had both been painters, so he was familiar with some of the dynamic involved, but having children, the whole ‘pram­in­the­hallway’ thing, is a reality. There’s an incessant juggling of time and energy on all fronts, the constant sense of never doing enough all round ­ but I also think that, beyond it being so obviously enriching, it also actually taught me to use my time better ­you’re very aware of how precious a commodity that is, when you can finally get to the studio! It created a discipline, and a work ethic. My children are grown­up now, so it’s less of a balancing act. And my daughter is currently studying drama at Goldsmith’s, so it seems I haven’t managed to totally put them off the creative lifestyle.


YG : Looking back, what were your biggest challenges to get where you are today, and how did you overcome them?

EL : As I said, the struggles with time and energy, having a family, are a reality. The constant juggling, doing other jobs to pay the bills on occasion too...And yet, it’s just not something I’ve ever really questioned. There have of course been struggles, at times in the studio, particularly around 2000­2003, when I was shifting from figurative work to more abstract, and feeling very lost as to where I was going, and whether I even had anything left to say. It was frightening. But the only way to overcome any of it is to work through it. I think it was Georgia O’Keeffe who said she’d been terrified all her life but never let it stop her from doing anything. The main struggle, probably, is doubt, and self­doubt, but I think that’s part and parcel of the creative process. But really ­ my biggest challenges, struggles in life have been outside the studio, on a personal level and what life throws at you ­ painting has always been my go-to place, with its own internal logic and pleasures. Challenging, yes, but in a positive way.


YG : What are your current/future projects in or outside the studio?

EL : It’s been a slightly crazy year or two, even for me ­ moving countries, solo shows last year at the George Lawson Gallery in San Francisco, and at Galleri Klaus Braun in Stuttgart, a number of group shows, as well as the shows I’ve curated, with Look& Listen in St. Chamas, with Andrey Volkov in Moscow, at RaumX in London with Martina Geccelli...and now the Glyptotek exhibition, which I’ve been working on flat­out for some months. Right now, I’m trying to actually just take a step back and both take stock and enjoy the moment! Something that’s traditionally hard for me, as I’m an obsessive worker. That said, I am lucky enough to have a wonderful and large studio space that I’m subletting at the moment, so I’ll be using the time I have left there to carry on working on a larger scale, which I’ve been enjoying, physically gruelling as it is.

YG : Can you share about your practice main choices regarding color-­size­-form ?

EL : In terms of the work as it is today, after twenty­five years of painting, I’d be hard­pressed to justify with rapidity the choices of either colour or form, in that they have resulted from so many micro­decisions along the way, at times a paring down, at others an opening up and exploration of what have gradually imposed themselves as essential to me...brush­mark and form are very much one in my work. There is currently an opening up of colour, and more complex compositions, quite simply due to a growing confidence in my use of paint as a language. And these in turn perhaps allow more narrative to creep in. But it remains an abstract narrative. As for size ­ I enjoy working in all sizes, small, medium and large, and switch between them regularly, which is perhaps unusual. Working large, there are, however, quite simply practical constraints, both of studio size (always a problem in London, as in most big cities!) and my own physical limits ­ working on the ground, the reach of my own body, and arm, are a factor.

YG : Can you elaborate on how social media influences your work?

EL : I’m not sure I would say that social media per se influences my work in the studio. I have always looked at other people’s work constantly ­ as I said, I studied art history, and for the first years I was painting I hung on to my student card and would constantly head over to the Louvre to see Rembrandt’s beef carcass or to the Pompidou Center, to get my fix there.

Social media has of course been wonderful in terms of seeing so much of other artists work, direct from their studios, and discovering so much — there have also been a number of very real friendships and dialogues (too many to name here! but yourself included) that have come out of it...certainly when I was in France in particular, and in a context that was largely dismissive of, if not overtly hostile to, painting as a medium, it was a relief to find that there were like­minded people out there in other places ­ that painting as a tradition was still going strong, particularly in the US.

I was more surprised when these dialogues evolved into actual work opportunities, in terms of exhibitions, gallery representation and became a clearly useful vector in terms of my own curatorial experiences. It is a marvellous tool that we have at our disposition these days, in terms of seeing so much, but also showing the work, and getting feedback.

YG : what impact do you hope your paintings will have on the life of the people who choose to take them home?

EL : I would assume that for them to be taking them home it’s already had an impact! And yes, as personal as the work is, it is both a relief and hugely gratifying to find that what I do communicates at some level to others...I also feel very strongly about the very particular time of painting as a medium, the fact that they are not only immediate images, but rather reward a longer viewing, and that the way in which I use paint means that the colour and light are constantly shifting. They are also open images, I hope, with a variety of possible readings, depending on what the spectator brings to it. In that sense, I hope those who take them home have a continued pleasure in and dialogue with them.

YG : what advice can you give to a beginner painter?

EL : Someone (I think it was Michael Craig­Martin) recently said he told his students ­ ‘if you can do something else ­ do it’ ­probably very true, as it’s certainly not a career plan! The ones who stick the path are the ones who can’t not. Other than that, I’d say ­ look at other people’s work, talk to other artists. Above all ­ just paint. There is no substitute for getting into the studio and working. It takes time, and stubbornness, to learn your medium, and to find your voice.

YG : Anything else?

EL : I’d like to just reiterate how utterly privileged I feel to have had this opportunity to see my work in such a context at the Glyptotek. We all, in the studio, have those ongoing dialogues with our forbears, but it’s a leap to show in context with them, and to bring other people to perceive that ongoing thread of paint as a language through Manet and Courbet to today. I feel so very lucky!

Studio Critical by Valerie Brennan

Valerie Brennan has one of my favorite art blogs. it has a fix set of questions and an endless flow of works and artists going through it.

I asked her to answer her own questions , she thought its cheeky, but we both liked the idea.

so here it is :

What are you working on in your studio right now?

I am in between finishing and starting new paintings, there are always a few paintings knocking around the studio that are utter failures waiting for their time. They often reveal themselves to be very pivotal works for me, they are completely unpredictable because some are years old and have seen many manifestations over time and I really don’t know when or how they will be resolved or should I say where my jumping off point is and they require no more from me. I have just finished 3 large paintings that I have been working on for a while now, they have required a few tactical retreats in the process but yes, now I am happy with them.

Can you describe your working routine?

I work early, first thing I am in my studio at 8am or so, my time is limited and a real balancing act with 2 children to look after, so I am very focused in my studio. I have a good strong coffee and get stuck in. My studio is not in my house so I take lots of photos to look at later, when I have time to reconsider what happened that day.

Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?

I am lucky I have a great space, it’s an old stone storage, a big stone shell of a building with real character and beauty, the light is naturally very dynamic with such strong sun here so it has its own vibe at all times of the day. The volume of space is great for me and I have surrounded myself with my work in all its stages. I also have one wall dedicated to drawings, I look at them all the time and I have come to rely on their presence. The space has also allowed me to work bigger, I love that I can put 5 or 6 large panels along the wall and can work on them together, literally walk along the wall painting. I can let things dry, take out old work, have everything out when I need it and store everything there. It really is an incredible studio to have.

Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.

I decide on a scale to use, order a batch of 6 maybe if they are small panels or 4 big panels. I put some colour down and just go from there. I don’t think each painting is an isolated event, so I find myself starting with the last paintings I made in my mind, sometimes painting what I have done before, and to go forward, I must destroy that and let the new painting reveal itself. When I am not painting I am drawing, one feeds the other. Also I have learned to just stop and back off and do something else when things aren’t going well. It can be a real emotional rollercoaster when it’s not working. It is so disheartening, it amazes me just how bad the feeling can be, still after all these years. On the other hand, it is hard to beat the highs of painting, I think there is no greater pleasure than being surprised by your own work.

What are you having the most trouble resolving?

Everything, continuing, inventing, reinventing, over working things, accepting failures, accepting successes, knowing when to stop…the list goes on.

Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?

I use my materials in a traditional way, paint on a wood support, I play with spray paint, scale, mark making and have kept those parameters in place so far.

What does the future hold for this work?

Keep on making, hope to keep on showing and I am very much enjoying this time in painting and the community we have built through social media. I see artists taking back the power, carving their own careers, curating shows, creating platforms for their own and the work of others, it’s a movement of passion and a thing of great beauty.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thank you Yifat!