Mo 28. Mar 2022
Contemporary Art

Artists of Schwabinger Tor

From light and dark to neon yellow to off-white - the main thing is abstract and rich in contrast. This is how Chantal van der Bol, our current "Artist of Schwabinger Tor," works. The 33-year-old German-Dutch loves colors and puts them in her paintings incredibly multifaceted in scene. Watch out for her - we are sure: this is only the beginning of a steep career!

Hi Chantal! What kind of art do you create here at Schwabinger Tor?
I paint pictures - quite abstract, often colorful and mostly very large. Modern art, then, or Contemporary Art, as many say. I've been working as an independent designer since 2016, before that I studied art and design history. After a few years as an art director on the agency side, I am now devoting more time to art. My focus is on the interplay of colors and contrasts. Because the mind does not focus on individual things, but the painting can speak to you. So my paintings are not figurative - you don't see a particular symbol, for example. Everyone can stay with their emotions and ideas and let the painting touch them. I like that very much!


That sounds exciting. How do you create your works?
I prefer to work with acrylic paint on canvas or paper and actually very much on the floor! There I can live out the dynamics of the image particularly well. My works are always based on a theme, an idea. The colors used play a central role, because each has a special effect in the psychology of color. In addition, there is the interplay of shadow and light, which I also always include. And in the end, of course, the one question: when is the painting really finished? I've already thrown many a design in the garbage can because I missed the right moment. I love details, and sometimes there are just too many ... (laughs)


When you work in such detail, how long does it take you to complete one of your paintings?
It varies a lot. I estimate that for a large work it is probably 30 hours. I usually make sketches in advance, try out color mixes, think through my technique. I always start with a good primer on the canvas, which is essential to give the colors depth and luminosity. Then I work in different layers, sometimes using structural paste - all of which also requires a drying phase in each case.
Of course, I also always have an eye on the build-up of tension, the lines, the flow in the painting. So the hours of work on a canvas drag on much longer than one might think. I let the painting work on me in the meantime and always want to be open to something unexpected. This is a creative process, sometimes I see new ideas in the course or give this new impulse space. Then the working time can extend again.
And in many cases I also string my frames myself beforehand.


You cover your frames yourself?
Yes, that's mainly because some canvases don't even exist in the size that I like to work with. That makes the artwork even more valuable to me in the end, because canvas-covering is in itself very laborious and time-consuming.


Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Colors and contrasts have fascinated me in a very subtle way since I was a child. I love colorful flowers, I just bought a bouquet of bright yellow daffodils, which I enjoy every day. In general, nature gives me a lot - it's a great balance and haven of peace to all that is often loud in my job in terms of color, shape or tone. My second great source of inspiration is the exchange with other cultures. My partner, for example, comes from India - we have been there together several times and I can hardly put into words how much the impressions have shaped me. Being part of the Indian family and culture is an incredible gift for me.
gift. Taste, food, clothing, contrasts, fabrics - it all inspires me insanely and I want to continue to pick up on the cultural contrast artistically.


Why did you finally settle at Schwabinger Tor?
I used to work from home and simply realized that I needed more space. Corona made that clear once again. So it went from the home studio to the super+ studio at Schwabinger Tor. The studio is ideal for me because I like to work on large surfaces. Certain formats are only possible for me here with the high ceilings, which was simply not feasible at home. When I saw the studio for the first time, it really screamed YES in my head. And since I moved in, everything feels right, too. The location and openness of the neighborhood are great. I love the architecture and the interior design of the studios, it's already "state of the art" - haha! Through the large window front, I get to see an incredible amount of the outside world. Sometimes people knock and ask if they can come in. That touches me very much and is always welcome. Through my small gallery I have also already received commissioned work - so it's really worth it!


And how does that work with the other artists in the studio community?
We complement each other very well. I'm totally grateful for this creative platform, the diverse exchange. We can all benefit from each other, also work together on projects and develop further. That feels great. Even away from work: We often have lunch together; Schwabinger Tor offers a lot of cool gastronomy. I
love the food at Hope, but I generally like the spirit in the neighborhood, that people work, live, and also live here. It's a great mix!


Reach to the stars: Where is your artistic journey heading?
For now, I'm super happy in my studio and feel like I've really arrived. In terms of content, I'm currently planning a new level of abstraction - more reduced, fewer colors, stronger expression. So I want to consciously reduce the very colorful a bit, most recently I used a lot of natural and soft off-white tones. Otherwise, for now, I'm continuing to work on my artistic appearance and my online presence. I want to exchange ideas with more artists, network better and, in the long term, of course, find more galleries and partners to exhibit my art. It's a very exciting time and I'm looking forward to each of the next steps!


#Thank you for these insights, dear Chantal - we love to be your Art Homebase!