I live in Austria's beautiful capital Vienna, next to the river Danube, with my lovely husband, son and dog.
Having studied arts I taught arts and woodwork at school for about 20 years before I decided to become a stay at home mom (which I haven't been regretting ever since - although I loved teaching as well). That also provided me with plenty of time to explore my own creativity - which I still enjoy a lot as I had been an enabler for so many years but never had the time to exercise my own artistic skills during that time. So here I am - still learning, exploring and discovering new techniques.
When I discovered rubber stamping back in 2011 a whole new world revealed itself to me! Stamps - being a really fast and reproducable means for incorporating images - have freed a lot of creative potential in me that otherwise would still be sleeping the Sleeping Beauty's sleep. I started using image stamps first (on tags and ATCs) but soon turned towards using stamped images rather as a means for adding texture and depth to my creations. I found that the world of mixed media offers endless possibilities for getting the most out of one's rubber stamps - and like most stampers and mixed media artists I have a rather huge collection of rubber stamps...and find myself turning to the same old favourite stamps most of the time.
Favourite project #1
Q: Do you have a signature style or favourite technique?
A: My favourite technique at the moment is scraping on paint or Gesso wherever possible. Either with a palette knife or an old credit card or whatever I have at hand - as long as I get that speckled result I am aiming for. I am not sure if I have a signature style...being really versatile makes it rather hard to develop a single style that can be recognised immediately I am afraid. Sometimes I envy artists who are able to dive deep into a single style, technique or theme and explore the endless possibilities of varying it as this leads to a certain mastery in what they do. Honestly it took me ages to embrace my versatility as being a gift instead of a challenge.
Favourite Project #2
This is one of my favourites as it shows my love for combining found objects (the metal bird, which was a flea market find) and old photographs with recycled materials (the shoe box lid and the light bulb) to create something grunge and weathered looking that tells a story. This piece also shows my love for using metal embellishments and sprinkling on drops of colour for more texture. And my love for dark and grungy looking makes of course. Again I used rubber stamps for adding texture - in this case the stamped stitching here and there.
Q: Where do you look for inspiration before you start on a project?
A: Most of the time it works the other way round: I remember something I saw and that made a lasting impression on me and then I have to try reproduce that effect. Often it is something textural or weathered I saw out in nature or a colour scheme that tickled me. And obviously I have something like a visual memory that has its own subconcsious will and pace on setting free some of the treasures it keeps. And when that happens I am hopefully close to my studio!
If it has to be done the other way round (for requested projects or tutorials), I love to browse my library and pinterest boards for inspiration or also tutorials from other creative folk - as I still love learning about new techniques and others' views on certain styles and media!
Favourite Project #3
A make that has some personal value to me as it shows my beloved dog Bluna dreaming her favourite dream (which includes chasing the crows we meet on our walks, running up and down hills as fast as she can and yummy bones of course). It shows my love for selfmade shadow boxes and also a rarely shown side of me as well: the more colourful and whimsical. And you can see two favourite uses of rubber stamping too with the stamped banner (done with my all time favourite letter stamps) and the once more stamped texture on the hills.
Of course I also share some of my own tutorials on my blog as I love passing on experience to others and share inspiration. I would be more than happy to welcome you on my blog "Von Pappe II" some time!
We hope you've enjoyed finding out a bit more about Claudia, thanks for joining us!