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Abstract Emotions | 2019

by Manuel Süess
Abstract Emotions | 2019 | ART by MANUEL SÜESS

My abstract, expressive paintings are back. My new abstract pieces celebrate the rebirth of my old painting series «Emotions» and are called «Abstract Emotions».

Like most of us I created my first abstract art when I was a sweet little baby. Probably with chocolate in my own face. Many years passed since then. In 2008 I started to number my paintings. In 2009 I created my first abstract painting on wood. It was my painting number 6. Until 2012 I painted mostly on wood. I used nearly every piece of wood I could find or cheaply buy. I loved its structure and versatility. Back in 2009 I didn’t think about work series. I just painted as I liked, mostly abstract and emotional themes. During that year I painted more than 200 painting and applied for about the same amount of jobs.

Later, after I founded my own art company, I started to sort my paintings into series. The series «Emotions» formed the bucket for all my abstract, expressive and therefore emotional paintings. Many of them were shown at exhibitions in Switzerland, Vienna and Shanghai. 2013 I changed my painting medium from wood to canvas. That change was also the beginning of the end of my series «Emotions». It got replaced by my new work series «Text+Paint=Work». Paintings of which I was able to show internationally at exhibitions, too.

My abstract, emotional paintings are back.

2019 marked the year of the return of my abstract, expressive paintings. After an about a yearlong painting break during which I not only rethought my dance paintings but also noticed that I missed my wild, expressive, emotional paintings that led room for boundless experimentations. But as it is with emotions, those paintings do not only express happy thoughts but can also have a quite deep and thoughtful meaning.

Hope (2019)

by Manuel Süess
Hope (2019) | Manuel Süess

My painting no. 826 Hoffnung (2019), Hoffnung is German and means hope, illustrates the everlasting emotional fight between hope for a better future and all the obstructions of everyday life.

The adventurer in the centre of the painting wants to get a grip on his life and tries everything to build a better tomorrow. The thorns and tendrils that were modelled with black modelling paste onto the canvas try even as hard to catch and stop him. But the battle-hardened knight doesn’t give up that easy. Cuts and scratches won’t stop him. His hope is that strong and the light inside of him is shining that bright.

This painting marks also the beginning of my new work series «abstract emotions» which picks up my early series « emotions» that I abandoned in 2013 and completes my artistic work with a completely abstract painting series.

Garden sculptures

by Manuel Süess
Garden sculptures | Manuel Süess | 2019

My garden sculptures are standing in the snow. Guarding their little fir. Wait a minute. Did it already snow around Lucerne? No. Not yet. I took this picture last winter in January 2019.

My garden sculptures are made from cherry laurels. After I moved in in my current flat and art studio, I cut a lot of them down as I am also responsible for the garden and as I don't like cherry laurels. I cut most of them into small piece to use their wood for future barbecues. But I liked the structure of two of them and kept them whole.

Someday, I had the idea to flip them around onto their branches, stepped back and was surprised. They looked like a wooden couple. So, they became my spare time project. Some of their branches had to be cut and the man with the broom in his hand wished to get some nicer clothing. I respected his wish and carved some new clothes out of his wood.

Nowadays they are standing and living in my garden. Mostly just standing. They promised to help with the garden work. But so far, I had done most by myself. They always claim that they are tired from digging the weeds.

My painting no. 53 Babykauz (2009)

by Manuel Süess
My painting no. 53 Babykauz (2009) | ART by MANUEL SÜESS

Babykauz is one of my dearest paintings. Therefore, it is no surprise that he was the reason I created the price cathegory “Babykauz & Friends” which consists only of paintings that are important to me for some reason. If you want to buy one of them, you'll need deep pockets. Each one costs twenty thousand swiss francs. I don’t care if you can’t afford it as if you can’t pay the price, I gladly keep those paintings for myself :).

Babykauz was one of my first bird paintings. I painted him back in 2009. Back then I painted just for fun as I didn’t become a professional artist until 2011. I still enjoy painting for sure, but you may know what I mean as at the beginning painting felt quite different when I started to try to make a living out of it. Now then, back to my dear Babykauz. I painted him with blue acrylic lacquer on plywood. Acrylic lacquer is quite different than traditional acrylic paint for painting paintings. You use it normally for painting wooden furniture, window frames, garden fences and all kinds of home-made wooden things. But back in 2009 I painted most of my paintings with it. I liked it and I didn’t care that you normally don’t use it for painting paintings.

In my previous art studio in Rheinfelden Babykauz was presented for many years at a well visible spot. Currently he is sleeping in a box. Recharging for future activities. He was often admired by visitors. When I mentioned the price, they mostly immediately understood his worth. Who couldn’t? So adorable and amicable he is. My sweet little baby owl.

Bird Paintings | 2009 - 2019

by Manuel Süess
Bird Paintings | 2009 - 2019 | Manuel Süess

Today, my bird paintings form a counterpart to my fiery, passionate dance paintings. But this wasn’t always the case as my bird painting series is much older than the one of my dance paintings. I painted my first bird paintings back in 2009. It started with paintings such as Memory and Babykauz.

Looking back, I am astonished about all the different kind of bird paintings I painted during the past decade. I used a lot of different techniques and colours. It started with simple and calm birds in blue and white. Later, my bird paintings got more expressive and colourful. They changed back and forth between those two extremes for some time. Today, they are back to the blue and white colour scheme, but they are far more expressive than at the beginning. Interestingly I mostly think about my bird paintings as they were at the beginning although they really changed a lot since then.

But one thing stayed always the same. I still admire their freedom and independence. They just have to spread their wings and can fly wherever they want to go. Therefore, a lot of my bird paintings were inspired by birds that I was able to observe in nature, some of them still visit my balcony and my garden from time to time.

My bird painting no. 824 Milan (2019)

by Manuel Süess
My bird painting no. 824 Milan (2019)

My painting no. 824 Milan (2019) is devoted to - no, not to the famous city - a kite. I think he is a black kite, but he could also be a red kite. To be fair I didn’t look at his wings that closely, I didn’t even know there is a difference until I looked for his English translation as I was sure that this majestic bird is known under a different name in English than in German.

Mostly I saw him flying up in the sky but sometimes I could spot him directly in front of my art studio’s window flying over my neighbour’s roof looking for his next prey. Most times I spotted him alone. But occasionally he was dancing through the sky with his lady friend. In summertime I sometimes saw him with his child, teaching him the secrets of the sky.

I crafted the black kite in my painting with modelling paste on top of the canvas. He is observing the blue sky in the background. His design is inspired by my early linocut art cards as well as by paper cuts. But I didn’t cut him out of the canvas I modelled him on top of it. Afterwards I painted him white. For some time, I also painted my birds black like my dancers but I decided to go back to my early bird paintings and paint my birds white again as white works better with the intended symbolism of independence and freedom of the birds in my bird paintings.

My painting table | Where paintings get painted

by Manuel Süess
My painting table | Where paintings get painted

A view behind the scenes. My latest painting is waiting on my painting table for its next brush strokes. It’s a very useful table. Big and stable. You may ask, a painting table? Where is his easel? I don’t like working on easels. They are not stable enough, at least the ones I have seen so far. They are useful to present paintings to viewers though. But for painting I prefer my painting table. I received it when I moved to Horw. It was a welcome gift.

Back in Rheinfelden I painted on an improvised painting shelf. What? What’s a painting shelf? It was like a bookshelf but for painting paintings on top of it. It consisted of wooden boards and the top board, where I used to paint my paintings, was leaning diagonally against the wall. It was ok for painting on stretched canvas, but it would never have been stable enough for my earlier paintings on wood.

I created my paintings on wood directly on the floor. I painted on the floor for many years. I liked it and it was very useful for my wooden paintings as some of them were quite heavy. The bigger ones weight up to 20 kilograms. I painted on quite thick wooden boards. You could even step on them. Actually, I did. As they were big ones it was quite useful to sit and step on a painting when painting it. I just had to watch that I neither stood nor sat on fresh paint.

Unless I wanted to. Back then, I even painted some of my paintings by using my bare hands and feet as brushes.

My dance painting no. 730 Im Tanzhaus (2014)

by Manuel Süess
My dance painting no. 730 Im Tanzhaus (2014)

My dance house invites you to come dancing. Young and old, little and big, red and blue, giraffes and elephants. Everybody is dancing. It doesn’t matter which dance you like. Every dance is allowed. From ballroom dancing to street dance, solo dancing and improv up to ballet. Dance like you enjoy most.

My dance painting no. 730 Im Tanzhaus (2014) celebrates the great diversity of dances and dancing. Don’t be shy. Dance like no one is watching. Don’t care what others are thinking. Enjoy the movement of your body and soul.

Im Tanzhaus means in English in the dance house. It is a painting of my acrylic-collage-mixed media series. Mixed media means that the artist combined different techniques when creating the artwork. For this dance painting I combined acrylic, collage and modelling paste techniques. The pieces of paper I used for the collage parts of the painting were painted with acrylic colours, too. As you may see, they are the main building blocks of my dance house. I used them as floors, stairs, window, door and even as the frame of a painting. Yes, on the wall of the top floor hangs an abstract painting inside my painting. A motive I used quite often in later paintings.

Watch out for the cat! Don’t step on her tail when entering my dance house. She likes sitting on the cosy doormat. If you look closely you will even find a fisherman in the basement window. He wants to lure the cat down and hopes he can animate her to dance, too. There is a lot going on in my fancy-dancy dance house.

Dance! | Dance paintings from 2013-2019

by Manuel Süess
Dance! | Dance paintings from 2013-2019 | Manuel Süess

For a long time, dancing and foremost latin competition dance was one of my big passions. Although I wasn’t that successful at dancing competitions, I loved it and gained a lot of energy, motivation, passion and joy from practising it and starting at competitions. Therefore, it is very surprising that it took so long until I painted my first dance painting. Even a local newspaper wrote an article about me with the roughly translated title “The dancer who paints” years bevor I painted my first dance painting and some time bevor I got self-employed and opened my art studio. Back then dancing was my centre of everything.

But it still took years after I founded my art studio until my passion for dancing got into my painting. Actually, my first dance painting was mere a lucky coincident. As it is with abstract painting the creation of the artworks is not always that precise and planed. And there it was. That blur of colour. Yes, indeed close to the End of 2013 a blur of colour on one of my paintings reminded me of a wild passionate dancer.

The next day I tried to reproduce that blur of colour. As it is with abstract painting recreating a blur of colour can be much harder than you think it might be. But I succeeded. And you could say, the rest is history.

During those years my little dancers developed and developed themselves through different stages from wild abstract dancers to more technical dancers and back. But foremost I enjoy when they are able to awake memories and passion and put a smile on a viewer’s face.

My dance painting no. 823 Tanzen! 2.19

by Manuel Süess
My dance painting no. 823 Tanzen! 2.19

Tanzen! 2.19 was my first new painting after a longer period without painting at all during which I concentrated my creative energy on completing my second novel and on my studies at the Lucerne School of Business.

I decided to make a creative break as I noticed that my dance paintings lost a bit of their initial joy- and playful spirit. My paintings had steadily become more technical. What is not bad on itself as it resulted in a constant increase of the technical quality of my art. But I missed the playfulness of my early dance paintings. Therefore, I decided to put paint and brush aside for some time, knowing that I wouldn’t be bored as I had enough to do with finishing my second novel and continuing my studies in business administration.

After I published my second novel in October 2018, I started looking at my earlier paintings. Dance paintings and others that I like very much. Some of them are in my private collection. I also viewed some of my early abstracts on wood. I had not seen them for quite a while. Bit by bit I rediscovered my playfulness. But not only because of viewing my earlier paintings. Much more because of my second novel as I let my fantasy run wild while writing it and created in my opinion a miraculous extraordinary piece of work.

With my second book finished and fuelled with new creative and playful energy it was clear what my main project for the break between the exams of my third and the start of my fourth semester would be. Paint, brush and canvas were put back to work and I created my dance painting no. 823 Tanzen! 2.19 during the following weeks.