Next stop in my quest to tell the artist’s story: Germany. Rain greets me as I get closer to Bea. After all the airplanes, travelling by train is a welcome break. Especially in Germany; being from the Netherlands originally, this is familiar territory and I enjoy the views as they pass me through the window. When I get off in Nienburg (Weser), a woman, her face half hiding in a warm, cozy coat, greats me. Enthusiastic waving, just about jumping: I see my first glimpse of the artist I am about to meet: an extraordinary, energetic woman: Bea Garding Schubert.
Meet Bea, a free spirit
One of the first things I learn about Bea is that she, with her then partner, travelled around the world for 8 years. On foot (!), except when changing continents, she explored our planet. Europe, the Middle East. Morocco, Australia, India, and Asia, just to name a few. Her life’s possessions in her backpack. No cell phone or any other means of communication, nothing but the things she truly needed: some clothes, a tent, and cooking materials. Gathering food, water, making fire, living in and with nature. A young woman in her twenties, this period of her life defined her. It provided her with a sense of freedom, liberation, and boundless potential. But also faith, a deep knowing that she will always be provided for.
Bea, the artist
Bea is not one to wait for inspiration. An experimental starter, a white canvas is all she needs. With messages like Open Mind and Open Heart, it is necessary that Bea’s paintings start with free-flowing expression, without restrictions; creating endless possibilities. Channelling her intuition, constantly moving around the painting, Bea becomes one with it. This very important phase has to take its time because making a decision provides direction and a certain focus; it limits your freedom. “Even determining which side is up limits me”, Bea says, “that is already a fixed situation. Sometimes it is necessary to still be able to turn it upside-down. It is why I work on the ground for as long as the painting needs it; so I can walk around freely.”
Coming in, stepping back. Brush, spray, drip, cloth. Constantly changing from darker, to lighter and back again; layering, creating depth. When finally a message takes shape, it is time to slow down and start the next phase, one with more structure. “When I think a painting is done, I put it aside, facing the wall. After a while, days, weeks, I turn it around.” She might surprise herself, she says: “Did I make that?” Bea looks at me with a big smile. “Other times, I will have to go back to it. Overpaint. The ritual starts, again. Until I think it is done, again.”
Driven by a sense of purpose
Bea is driven by a deep sense of purpose: “Artists have an important mission. There is so much hardship in the world today. We, as artists, have the ability to inspire people; bring new and fresh ideas into society. I feel it as my obligation even, my task, to open people’s eyes, minds, and hearts. Inspire them to change, or simply see things in a more positive way. Provide them with a different aspect of the world around them.” Byways of her paintings, Bea inspires people to look for the good, the light, in any situation. “As we need a balance, it is adamant we recognize and acknowledge the dark, but we need to look for and focus on the good.
Art with a message
“No complaining, please. Act!” Channelling her intuitive information, transferring it onto the canvas; Bea’s paintings are the vehicle for her message: one of positivity, hope, change, light, and optimism. She explains to me that sometimes during the layering, a word might appear in her head. Like “hope”, or “love”. Then as she paints, she will repeat the word in her head, like a mantra: “Hope, hope, hope.” The meaning of the word becomes part of the painting. Energetically initially, yet in the phase of completion, Bea transfers the letters literally onto the canvas; solidifying the message.
“I love it that I am able to live off my art but only want to do that in a fair way. Meaning that people receiving my art, are the people who need it; not just the people who can afford it.” Bea is always looking for her dreams. She craves change and starting something new. She tells me she knows there will be a change in direction for her, allowing her to have even more time to paint. So she can reach even more people.
By the time her painting hangs on a wall, lifting someone’s spirits, making someone happy, then her job is done, mission accomplished. “When they are happy, so am I.”