I’m excited today to bring you an interview with the winner of the Wingecarribee Landscape Prize 2016 Britta Stenmanns. Here is a picture of her winning work called Plein air paint & camp.
Britta kindly agreed to answer some questions I sent her via email. If you are a kid then you might need some help from someone older with some of the words if they are new to you.
I like these answers because they come from an artist’s heart. Britta says to be strong and independent and to do what you think in art is the best. But also try to learn other techniques.
I hope you enjoy my interview with Britta Stenmanns.
Siobhan: What advice would you give a 9 year old who wants to be an artist?
Britta: Observe and learn to look properly at everything- really look- your perception (how you look and how you see things) is entirely your own and unique. And the way you use this observation as well , the way you draw a line is entirely unique and your own , like your signature of your name will be. When you want to draw paint or do anything creative you should just enjoy the process (the doing so) . Don’t ever listen to people if they say: but this isn’t how you draw an eye or figure, if you want to draw it your own way, do so!
Except if you want to learn how the other artists over the centuries have been doing things and to learn from their technique and build on this knowledge and your little discoveries you will make . Never because someone says so. Its always good to look at other artists’ work and try to imagine how they felt in certain situations and why they did what they did in certain conditions. How they expressed themselves.
S: How do you motivate yourself to keep working at your projects?
B: I don’t have to motivate myself too much, of course everybody has bad days, but in general there is a drive there of getting going or wanting to finish a project or artwork and to want to get to the bottom of an idea. Without really knowing it, it fills me with something worthwhile.
S: What does it mean to be an artist to you?
B: It means a lot to me ! It has been and is my life and got me through everything, as it extends into everything I do, my daily life, my children, my garden, my traveling, my caring for others...It means I have an incredible freedom, but where I am sometimes my worst self’s enemy as well.
S: Do you send messages through your art?
B: It often seems that it is important to me even if it might be not that obvious at first sight.
S: Are you proud of your work?
B: Well , I never asked myself this, all I know is this, I try to be as honest and authentic in my work practise as I can be. Being proud might be a good thing, but I never learned to be proud, it would feel weird...
I hope you enjoyed my interview with Britta Stenmanns. Next time I'll be showing you and teaching you some Manga drawings I learned yesterday from Matthew Lin.
See ya next time, S.