Portrait Of The Artist: Yvonne Robert

The colourful painter talks to us about where she gets her inspiration from, why creating art is full of ups and downs, how she spends her typical working days and why, in another life, she’d talk to animals.

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Even if you’re only fleetingly familiar with Paul’s collections, you’ll know that the designer has something of a penchant for palette – something he shares with German painter Yvonne Robert. So much so in fact that the artist was once described as “motivated by colour” by curator Sascha Gianella. Her compositions – which feel overwhelmingly intuitive and spontaneous – are certainly bright and bold, but they’re also the product of close study and contemplation. To find out more about her process, we spoke to the painter about how she views art as a craft that needs to be practiced, what she hopes people take away from her pieces and why she never knows where her next spark of inspiration is coming from.

Where do you find inspiration?

In exhibitions, on Instagram, walking in nature or in the city, watching people and their style. I find it great that during the visit of an exhibition or a trip I do not yet know what will inspire me. When I'm back in the studio memories come up and I know only then what inspired me. That is a great effect. 

How would you describe your work?

Expressive, abstract painting. I am motivated mostly by colours and that is always the beginning. I want to paint spontaneously, intuitively, and loosely without it looking impatient.

What do you hope people take away from your art? What are you trying to say?

I hope that my works trigger feelings in the viewers. It does something with them. Their eyes stick and they have the desire to look at the painting longer than a second. I cannot claim that I want to say something concrete with my works. They are pictures that are created intuitively, and they can also be viewed intuitively. 

How does being an artist affect your outlook on life?

My outlook on life has to do with my personality and not with my profession, I think. I've always been a positive and optimistic person, whether I'm a graphic designer or an artist. What I find difficult is not to think commercially in my work. I don't mean thinking about selling the paintings. It inhibits free creativity and yet you have to sell works. But this is not really an answer to the outlook on life but rather thoughts on survival.

How do you feel while you’re working? What’s going through your mind?

I feel very comfortable – it is a lot of fun because it is my passion to paint. It depends a bit on what I'm doing. When I'm priming or stretching the canvas it's more meditative, different thoughts are going through my head. When I paint the composition, I am very concentrated and think only about mixing the colours well, the right consistency – and then the most important: the brush application.

What does your typical working day look like – do you have any particular rituals?

I like to sketch when I am at home or on the road. In the studio I stretch the canvases and prime them. While they dry, I sketch a bit more. Then I decide which sketches I will paint in large. When a painting is finished, I photograph it. I edit the photo in photoshop until I think it looks like the original. If it also happens that I have to prepare a shipment, then I take the paintings from the frame, roll them and pack them. Or I answer emails and interviews.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you do and why?

I would be interested in many professions. But to answer it quite unrealistically: I would like to be a doctor, a painting therapist, a kindergarten teacher, an animal shelter manager and finally an animal communicator. But quite realistically: I have no idea and I am very happy. 

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Published: 23.10