Ms. Augstburger, as an artist you work a lot with the coloring agent gouache. How does gouache painting differ from working with acrylic, watercolor or oil paint?
At first glance, the gouache paint looks just like oil or acrylic when fresh from the tube. But watercolor comes closest to it when it comes to processing. It is a mixture of pigments, chalk and a rubber glue binder
(gummi arbicum), which is processed with water. Gouache can be applied thinly with watercolors. But I use it with several layers of paint to cover it, and small areas can also be painted over with white. You don’t have to wait, as is the case with oil painting. But this also has the disadvantage that you hardly have time for seamless color transitions.
What is special about gouache painting for you?
Gouache painting is as if made for me, at least in the way I use brush and paint. I am a tinkerer through and through and love to solve tricky tasks. It gives me a lot of pleasure when the white painting pad is in front of me and I can finally project my creative thoughts onto it. The mostly accurate brushwork and the constant balancing of the individual parts require a lot of patience, which I am happy to invest. Turning a sheet of white paper into a colorful storyteller fascinates me again and again. And only the gouache colors give me the color effect I want.
You put your art under the motto “Bunt auf Bunt”. What do you want to express with it and are there also colors that you do not like to use or that do not go well together?
The fact that I chose “Bunt auf Bunt” for my first exhibition had several influences. I stayed with this motto because the backgrounds of my pictures are just as colorful as the objects in the foreground. In addition, this motto gives me even more freedom in my creativity. I choose the colors emotionally, they are mostly clear and strong. Pastel tones don’t have enough power for me. I don’t know whether it’s my intuition or the gouache color itself, I rarely have the feeling that the chosen colors do not go together.
You have now been active as an artist for around 30 years. How has your style changed since then?
I refined my painting style, which developed from the property of this quick-drying paint, in the technique. Although the forms have become livelier and more accurate, the complete works, in contrast to the earlier works, are more like patchwork. With the strong color scheme, I am no longer so hesitant. But I think that bigger changes come with the different topics. I’ve got used to painting twelve works on one topic. When I move on to a new series, a new desire to experiment has developed, which naturally affects the work.
In addition to your work as an artist, you have a “normal” job: What do you do for a living and why did you start painting?
I work in the public service, I am released from work as an administrative clerk and there I carry out the office of person of trust for the severely disabled. I have painted since my early childhood – without any notable talent. But I was always fascinated by what was possible in paintings. Until I started to paint pictures at a young age, which I managed surprisingly well. But I was full of imagination, so I wanted to create my own works and worked on them.
What kind of tip would you give beginners to paint?
I would advise beginners to paint to try many techniques. But when you’ve found something that suits you very well, you should stick with it and perfect it.
Where do you see yourself and your art in the future?
Now I see myself as an artist who is high time to make her art known. I leave my view of the future open, because I have already reached an age where you hope that your health will not play tricks on you.