“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” –Claude Monet
Simone Schwarz is a contemporary painter based in Neustadt, Germany. Her paintings are spiritual expressions that explores the gamut of human emotions through color. Working with acrylic paints, ink, acrylic spray, structure paste, and spray bottles, Schwarz creates abstract compositions that reflect the depths of her soul. She is driven by creative passion; her experiments with colors, materials, and techniques showcase gestural atmospheres that pulsate with positive energy. This month, Schwarz will be featured in Agora’s group show, The Saturated Palette, (May 3-24, 2022), which navigates the cultural, psychological, and symbolic undertones of color.
I spoke with Schwarz about her process, her artistic choices, and her inspirations.
Simone Schwarz: Most of my paintings are rendered in rich tones. They are powerful, inspiring and full of passion. In other compositions, I use pastel tones which fill the canvas with a sense of calm. Each of my paintings has its own personality which is showcased by a different selection of colors, structures and techniques. The surfaces hum with vibrancy, inviting the viewer to come closer while they stir up emotions within them. I want to touch people’s souls with my paintings, which is why I pour all my emotions into each piece I create.
HZ: How do you begin a composition? Does it ideate in your mind or on the canvas as you paint?
SS: Both, but mainly my compositions are created on the canvas. By experimenting with structures, colors or diluting paint with water. Shortly after I begin painting, many new ideas will arise about how I could expand the composition.
HZ: What types of materials and techniques do you employ when making art?
SS: I work with high-quality acrylic paints, ink, acrylic spray, structure paste and a spray bottle. To make a painting, I use a variety of tools and techniques such as brushes, palette knives, my fingers, flow techniques and spray techniques.
HZ: Do you have a signature style? If so, which words would you use to describe it?
SS: No, I don’t have a signature style yet. I am still exploring process and technique, I’m still on the way to finding my own style. I’m very excited to see what this personal style will look like.
HZ: All of your compositions are untitled. This leaves for a wide range of interpretations. What are some messages you hope your paintings will communicate with your viewers?
SS: I chose not to name any of my paintings, because I want to invite the viewer to dive into the painting and discover it for themself. I feel that if I were to name my compositions, the viewer will become distracted from it by focusing on the title. I do not want to place limitations upon the viewer, because everyone sees something different in abstract paintings. I find that aspect to be very exciting — it frees the viewer.
HZ: Who is your creative inspiration?
SS: I do not look to anyone for inspiration. I believe my creativity lives inside me and with each day, more and more of it comes out. I am a happy person who enjoys every moment of life. My journey is far from over!
HZ: What role does color play in your work?
SS: Color plays a very important role in my work. I love color! I find that colors dictate my mood. When I’m full of energy, I work with primary colors like red, yellow and blue. When I’m feeling romantic, I tend to use pastels like turquoise, pink and sky blue.
HZ: Agora’s upcoming group show, “The Saturated Palette” navigates the cultural, psychological and symbolic undertones of color. How does your work fits in with this theme?
SS: My work definitely fits in with the psychological undertones of the show. The term “psyche” comes from the Greek word which means breath. The act of breathing means something is alive. I believe that my paintings are alive when it comes to their formal aspects like color and shape. My compositions take the viewer on a beautiful journey within; they allow you to breathe in something beautiful by opening hearts and souls.