Featured at Rainforest Arts March & April
If Claudia Lohmann’s Grade 3 art teacher saw what she’s doing now with her ‘Imaginative Geometric Art’, he would make her stand up in front of the class and explain herself. After all, who sees faces in the clutter of a tool shed or a kitchen drawer?
But instead of being intimidated, as she was then, Lohmann, the mature seasoned artist, would explain to her classmates that the best art doesn’t imitate life, it reincarnates it on canvasses or, in Lohmann’s case, more frequently on sheets plywood and furniture surfaces.
When they were told to draw a horse, she would have explained to her classmates, it was perfectly okay for hers to be of a different colour. “I drew a blue horse, and the teacher made me come out in front of the class, he made fun of me, that I should know better, and there are no blue horses,” she recalled.
“For me that was a really bad experience, and I really didn’t take part in art anymore.”
Fast forward to 2004. Lohmann, who had immigrated to Canada in 1995, was encouraged by friends, family and other artists, to get over her instilled fears and just ‘go for it’. And so, her unique style of drawing brightly coloured, geometric compositions, often on large surfaces, became her life’s passion.
“I regret not having done it earlier, but I would never want to be without it now,” she said, adding that creating art has brought new dimensions of joy into her life. “It makes me happy, and that’s a really important thing, you have to do art that makes you happy.”
She calls her style ‘Imaginative Geometric Art’ because ordinary things around her become ‘templates’, which she incorporates into her works, and out of the geometric lines, curves and bold colours, faces and other living features often emerge.
Lohmann doesn’t try to explain what her art means. She remembers pointing out a face in one of her paintings, which she had sold to a customer. “He came back, I think a week later and exchanged it for something else because he told me, he feels watched now, sitting in his living-room.” Art, Lohmann believes is something the viewer should experience for her or himself.
You can experience Lohmann’s The Colours of Geometry Show at Rainforest Arts, 9781 Willow Street in Chemainus. As Featured Artist, her works will be on display Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11AM to 4PM. Go to RainforestArts.ca for more information.