Monthly Archives: June 2015

Grey Desert Victory

Grey desert victory, 125 x 145cm, olieverf op doek, 2011 copy

Grey desert victory, 125 x 145cm, olieverf op doek, 2012

When I was confronted with feelings of sadness and loneliness, in the shape of an unfinished painting of grey mountains, rolling over the canvas like waves, and a sad empty sky hanging over it, I could not paint for a week. I felt paralyzed.

But one afternoon I was in my studio and realized that I could make a change. And with inspiration I watered the desert, until it bloomed.

I picked up some tubes of orange, yellow, ocher, burnt umber (a deep brown color), soft pink… And started painting. Scared at first. But soon diving into that painting. I was taking over. I was working from optimism and joy.

A vase caught fire. The sky lit up in reddish pink tones. Desert flowers in strange shapes came tumbling through the landscape. Colors were the way out of this desert, and a new and better day was looming at the infinite horizon. This was my Grey Desert Victory.

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Copyright Suzanna Treumann

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Self portraits

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Moss on my face, detail, 2006

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untitled collage, paper, photograph, fur, 2006

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untitled collage, drawing, photo, fur, 2006

Untitled, watercolor on paper, 2005

Untitled, watercolor on paper, 2005

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Untitled, white cube at academy Aki, 2006

My first video – painting – photo installation (no photos on my blog) that I presented in 2004 was about ‘loving myself’. I decided to become my own model and muse. I was looking out of my window, so there was already a sense of an inner and outer world.

I had a second wave of production around ‘myself’, or better said my emotions, using my face, when I made small works about grief in 2005-2006. (Photos above) I made many varieties of self portraits. Some of them crying self portraits. Often portraits with closed eyes. I had a braid, which fell apart and the different parts were transparent like tears. I drew many portraits of myself as a stone sculpture with moss on it.

Self portrait, oil on canvas, 150 x 100 cm, 2007- 2008

Self portrait, oil on canvas, 150 x 100 cm, 2007- 2008

This painting is in a way the end of that period. Beginning 2006 I started painting in oil. I experimented more and more with color and subject matter. My portraits needed a surroundings.  My way of seeing my self portraits was that they were autobiographical without showing literally what they were referring to.

Somehow painting myself is a recurrent element in my work. It brings me back to my emotions, making honest work, while experimenting. I follow my impulses and get new ideas while I’m in the process of painting. I started this painting before I chose to continue my studies at the painting department, and finished it by changing the color of the body to brown, when I was studying there.

Suzanna Treumann, self portrait, acrylic and oil on canvas, 30 x 30 cm, 2015Self portrait, acrylic and oil on canvas, 30 x 30 cm, 2015

I switch styles within a day. Before painting this one recently, I struggled with several more naturalistic, dark self portraits, and in the end, this very light and more abstract self portrait came out. One I could only paint because I had been struggling to get my face on the canvas in those other paintings. So it often takes many paintings to get to what I was looking for. In the past years and with my two international moves, the self portraits have given me a ‘home’ when I felt like I was disappearing and was overwhelmed with the newness of my surroundings. In such moments I need to go back in time, work with an older theme. And especially the self portraits make me feel connected to what’s going on inside me while the surroundings are changing.