Warmth. It emanates from visual artist Brigitta Richter’s work, and from the artist herself. It’s hard to articulate exactly what draws me to her pieces, but part of it is the use of color (I’m not a fan of a neutral palette, in art or everyday life), the fluidity, and, well, what I mentioned at the very beginning--the warmth.
|Brigitta Richter (photo credit: Joe Barr)|
|Some of the paintings that Richter teaches how to create during "painting parties"|
Richter was born in Munich, Germany, and has lived in Kenosha, Wisconsin for ten years. She trained as a dental technician early in her career, something she credits as helping her in her work today. The connection to her current work in clay, acrylic and oil paints and ink, she explained, is that the dental training she got helped to fine tune her spatial and technical abilities. Having to create molds for dental work gave her the experience of working with pliable mediums, and having to pay close attention to sometimes minute details has aided her as well.
|A sculpture the artist had just begun on the day I visited Mudhaus|
Also a Reiki practitioner, Richter has made a series of ceramic chakra angel necklaces, each with the purpose of balancing energy in a specific area of the body.
Encaustic painting is the latest thing that Richter is trying her hand at. This is generally done with raw pigment mixed with molten beeswax. A heat source has to be passed over the surface after applying the mixture, and that melts the wax a second time and fuses it with the pigment. Richter says that engrossing herself in the process has helped her to adjust to her daughter going off to college. She explained that, with encaustic painting, there’s an element of having to just let the finished product come out however it will; you can only control the wax to a certain degree, and then, it’s left up to chance.
|An encaustic painting in progress|
To find out more about Mudhaus Studio and see more examples of Richter's work, visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Mudhaus.