Mara Ruehl is a passionate German painter whose works primarily focus on abstract themes. She adopts unique approaches such as Chromamorphien to create impressive abstract art pieces, exhibited in numerous countries.
In this interview, Mara gives us an insight into her abstract art exploring the limits of perception.
Mara, when and how did you know you were going to become an artist?
Becoming an artist is not a decision for me, but a process. For me, the difference lies in “doing” versus “being”. Initially, there can only be the attempt to “do” something creative, to create, with the intention to one day arrive at “being” an artist. I have always sketched, drawn and painted since I was young. However, a creative side is inherent in many people. Only when I realized at some point ‐ and this happened in my late 20s ‐ that the world of words is too ephemeral for me and that I am better able to express myself non‐verbally through my paintings, that is when the decision slowly matured to make my creativity my profession. I would say that in my early 30’s I first made the conscious decision to become full‐time unemployed and penniless in order to find my personal happiness and joy in creating my artworks. The external recognition and my deep inner joy which I feel when creating and viewing my work allow me to say today that I “am” an artist.
What are your artistic influences and other artists who you are most inspired by?
I find the greatest inspiration during my work. I often feel like I’m bursting with new ideas while I’m working in my studio. But also the contemplative silence with myself, as well as the beautiful shapes and colors of nature inspire me daily. There are of course many artists such as Gerhard Richter, K.O Götz, Barnett Newman etc., whose work deeply impresses me. However, one important lasting inspiration I had in particular was from the exhibition of the artist Bim Köhler in 2011. My work series “Silence” was created because of the impressions that this exhibition has left with me.
Mara, is there a message you would like to convey through your abstract artworks?
No. My desire is not to convey any messages. I find it most beautiful when the observer of my artwork sees his own feelings as a message. That is also the reason why I give my works no, or very neutral titles. Descriptive titles would only influence everyone wanting to see in my art what I see. But naturally my personal intention is within each of my pieces of artwork.
Can you elaborate on your abstract approaches such as “Chromamorphien”?
“Chroma” is the Greek word for color and “morphie” means change. Change is part of our entire human existence. It takes place always and everywhere. We can either passively observe it and let it happen, or actively influence it to steer it in a certain direction. In my paintings, change takes place through the interaction of colors and surfaces that, when viewed intensively, diffusely dissolve, begin to waft, pulsate and vibrate. The color spaces seem to develop a life of their own and integrate the viewer who is sensitive to it.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I can’t think of anything else. Art is what I do best.
What advice would you give to emerging artists?
The most important thing is to believe in yourself and be absolutely convinced of your own work. If you never allow yourself to feel defeated, despite all possible external failures and criticism, and always believe in yourself, then the path you have chosen will ultimately result in success.