Birgit Zartl – Breathless but poetic

#AnInterview: Birgit Zartl is a Vienna based interdisciplinary artist with a focus on painting. She has studied Psychology at the University of Vienna and worked in the Neurological Department of The Hietzing Hospital in Vienna. She has attended Art Therapy training courses in painting & drawing techniques and the study of Chromatics at the Institute for Creative Therapy in Vienna. Since 2000, she works as a self employed psychotherapist and paints regularly in her studio in Vienna.

KB: How do you feel your work has changed over the years? Do you feel it is still changing?

Birgit: My work has changed a lot. I went from abstract pieces to landscapes, and then to figurative and mixed media work. I am much more interested in form and a specific narrative than when I did abstract work. Today I almost exclusively use paper and ink. (But I still do the occasional oil painting, too.) Recently, I also started to do etchings and dry point prints. So, yes – my work is constantly changing. It’s imperative. Just like you evolve as a human being.

KB: You never use too much colour. Where does this choice come from?

Birgit: I am just not very confident using a lot of (bright) colours. They distract me from focusing on the process and the message.  I don’t feel much joy choosing and thinking about colour while working. The same reason why I mostly take black and white photos. However, I do enjoy colours in other artists’ works.

KB:  How is photography different to drawing and painting for you?

Birgit: Oh, apart from the different technique, not very much! Both are rooted in the same part of my mind and in the desire to transport a certain feeling or essence if you will. There isn’t a lot of colour in my photos either, and for the same reasons I mentioned above. The contents / subjects are different though – the focus in my photography lies more on self portraits and still lives. Something I don’t do much in my painting / drawing.

KB: What is something you always wanted to work on but havent managed to do yet?

Birgit: An oil painting on a huge canvas like the old masters did. I doubt I ever will, but who knows. Truth is, I am not a very patient person in art and in life. I like to develop my work fast and finish it quickly, even though I like minute detail and spending time on it. Breathless but poetic.