Inside the Studio

Carola Schapals

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
The main theme of my artistic work is the second glance on what is mostly deserted and secluded places. For me, some of these places are meaningful because I see events in the past in them. The scenery that I search for includes nature and city landscapes, as well as architecture combined with vegetation or other specific items. However, I search for traces of these scenes, like a child would see them for the first time. I am always close to my own childhood.

I like the peripheral and the silence. This is what touches me and triggers pictures in my head. Vague childhood memories of potential hidden longings or stored pictures of movie sequences arise in my mind. This complexity of reality transforms within my paintings, and I switch from figuration to abstraction permanently. So in my work, I try to connect the visible objective world with my own internal emotional world.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Be true to yourself. Even when others doubt you, have confidence to become the person you were meant to be!

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
Music can give me an emotional kick instantly and I often make use of the impact of particular sounds. For me sound has an equivalent within the colour palette. In my studio, I enhance my mood to accelerate or slow down the process of painting. I  listen to classical music ( Händel, Pachelbel,Verdi and Bach), but also to jazz, punk, or pop (Van Morrison, Eileen Jewell, Jack Johnson, John Hiatt, Eric Lindell and more.) All mostly very loud!

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
I would choose The Monk by the Sea, painted by Caspar David Friedrich in 1809.

Who are your favorite writers?
They are continuously changing, but some of my favorites are Rainer Maria Rilke, Joseph von Eichendorff, Kurt Tucholsky, Siegfried Lenz, and John Irving.