Elke Schulz is a meticulous, serious painter, but she didn’t initially start out that way. What began as a hobby and love of drawing eventually blossomed into a full-blown career, and Elke now lives and works as a freelance painter in Minden, Germany, after painting abroad in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and even Russia.
Her art reflects her passion for multiple mediums, as well as her love of abstraction and the simplification of subjects.
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“My paintings represent beings and objects surrounding us daily,” Elke said, “as well as intuition and emotion, expressed through brilliant colors. My concern as a painter is conveying the elemental forces of growth and the unfolding of dying.”
Summer Ship, created with acrylics, has all the elements of a seascape. There are the dazzling colors of a sunrise over the water’s horizon—fabulous electric orange and fire engine red—and a pale yellow-white in the center of the painting, like a blistering sun beating down on a boat in the heat of the afternoon.
There’s a beautiful mossy green found in the shallows, as well as the turquoise and cerulean of the water when light hits the waves just right. Finally, there’s that dirty tan color reminiscent of soft sand surrounding a gently lapping tide, the rusty reds and browns of a big old, wooden ship, and a deep black representative of nightfall, when only the twinkling of the stars lights the sky.
And let’s not forget the netlike texture here and there. The personality behind this painting is truly breathtaking.
Gockel, a watercolor piece, evokes a flair for fun. Loose paint strokes comprised of grand colors plump up the rooster’s plumage as she carries it in a proud fashion high above his body.
With legs splayed out on a background devoid of color, we are able to fully view and appreciate the rooster, who seems quite comfortable in his flamboyant display. His robust red comb flairs dramatically, a bright counterpoint to the earthy shades of brown and goldenrod on his body that make us appreciate the sophisticated myriad of colors found in his tailfeathers even more.
Finally, Small Flowers is an oil painting containing a smattering of long-stemmed, vibrant flowers cascading cross the canvas. You would think the opaque, neutral background would allow the lively colors to steal the show, but I find myself admiring the contrast between soft and bold colors the most.
There’s a lot of fantastic subtle dimension in this painting, from the large, red and purple flowers toward the bottom of the painting (which appear to be up close and personal) to the faint, rosy flower in the background.
I also greatly appreciate the eccentric strokes Elke uses to portray the direction of each flower petal—almost all of them shoot upward in excitement, grounded only by those stalky stems and the dark stamen planted deep in the middle of the flower.
Please don’t miss this opportunity to view Elke’s website, which is home to many more astounding abstract paintings, including landscapes, cityscapes and my personal favorites: some truly awesome paintings of curly-haired sheep!