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, traveling by train is a welcome break. Especially in Germany; being from the Netherlands originally, this is familiar territory. 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, traveled 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. Channeling 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 an 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!” Channeling 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 would love to be able to live off my art but only 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.”