“I am a traveller between worlds” — abstract landscape artist, Gesa Reuter
A beautiful drive from Hanover Airport, through the rolling hills of North Rhine-Westphalia, takes me to the small city of Detmold, Germany. An ancient city first referred to in the year 783. Checked in to my room at a charming hotel in the city centre, generously booked for me by the artist I am about to meet: abstract landscape artist, Gesa Reuter.
It all began in Scotland
For abstract landscape artist, Gesa Reuter, her interest in landscapes originated in Scotland. While there for a few months on an internship during her Psychology degree studies, she fell in love with its nature. Scotland’s beauty painted inner landscapes on her creative soul. It imprinted sights of the Northern Seas, which greatly influenced and inspired her current abstract seascapes.
Gesa’s love of learning
It is 1996, and with a Psychology Degree under her belt, Gesa treated herself to her first art course. Frame making, stretching canvasses, all the basics. She loved it all, but most of all, Gesa fell in love with painting. A love affair that took her from these initial stages to her current professional art career.
Initially, she created for her own walls; not able to afford the kind of art she liked, she decided to make her own. Although she thoroughly enjoyed creating art, Gesa Reuter, considered art merely as a hobby. Many summer art courses followed, enhancing her skills through drawing classes, photography, and painting. These courses, along with spending days, immersed in the inspiring museum collections of the American expressionists, became the foundation of her artistic career. Everything she’d learned, Gesa recognized in these expressionist artists. She remembers those days to be an intense phase. “It was my world at the time, and I went in deep. Pretty much living in these museums.’
Her love of learning also becomes evident when discussing her favourite works. “My favourite paintings are the ones where I learned a lot from. There are just a few of them and they became special to me.” With one or two exceptions, these paintings are not for sale. They, in fact, became part of her life and her personal art collection.
Making her own paints
Gesa makes her own gouache and egg tempera paints. She loves the pureness of the process and it allows her to create her own colours. “I like these old techniques and how the paints interact and allow light to shine through. It gives a certain quality to my work. Something I would not be able to achieve with mere acrylics.”
Medium-choice first, her style followed
The development of her personal style started with this paint-making. She deliberately chose her favourite medium, before she developed her style of painting. She thoroughly enjoys the gifts that this self-made paint gives her during the various stages of new work. Applying generous amounts of the watery paints en pigments, lots of puddles, and then leave it. See what happens as it dries.
Coming to terms: “I am an artist”
Another significant phase in her development as an artist was the realization that she needed to create in order to better understand herself. Painting upheld Gesa in overcoming the personal hardships that she faced during those days, and she began to realize the need to open up more time to be with her art.
These were difficult times and talking about this phase in her life brings visible emotions to the surface. Gesa had to come to terms with the fact that she is, in fact, an artist.
She suppressed her creative self due to her upbringing in a job-security focussed Germany. Over time, she overcame those barriers restricting her creative talents in visual and performing arts (Gesa paints and sings). Gesa: “I am doing much better now with finding a balance between my practice and the arts, but it remains a conflict to some degree. I feel I may compromise being an artist. On the other hand, doing both gives me the freedom of not having to live completely from my art sales and paint freely. I like to think I am an artist and a therapist. The two sides of me compliment each other when balanced and the experiences I make in life influence my art in a deeper way and vice versa. The very combination and the mutual influences ground me and make me complete.”
Gesa Reuter’s work
Gesa likes to work with a limited palette per painting. And she tends to extensively explore the palette and she goes through phases where she will use mainly blues or greys. Sometimes, she challenges herself by doing the same composition, yet in a completely different palette. Regardless, the airy blues, pinks, and purples are her absolute favourites.
A work coming to life goes through two distinct phases. An initial playful phase followed by a more deliberate phase.
Gesa: “I love the free-flowing phase of a painting. When I have to make a decision as to where a certain work is going, it becomes real work.”
This last phase can take a longer time. Paintings go in the corner when she is unsure about how to continue. Some works can take months or even years before they are fully done. “I continue with a painting until nothing disturbs me. It has to feel right to me.”
Our world needs art
Gesa could not imagine a society without art. “Everybody needs a bit of the freedom and beauty that art provides. Artist or not, the minute you connect with artwork, you connect with yourself. With music, it is more obvious than with visual art, but it is the same nonetheless: humans need art. It is a communication between the viewer and the artist, a language.“
Interested in Gesa’s art on your wall?
Interested in Gesa Reuter’s work on your wall? You can browse her artwork on her profile page. Not finding what you had in mind, but like her style? Feel free to contact us with your special wishes. We are happy to help you find what you are looking for.
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*Feature image courtesy of Marie Monneke.