Interviewer: Jennifer Crowshaw, owner, SOTA gallery
Name of artist: Roberta Tetzner
Mixed media (including acrylic paint, watercolour, pastel, collage and other media) on canvas
1. What age did you realise art was something you wanted to pursue?
When I was 12 years old, my painting was held up as an example of good work at school. This was when I realised that Art was for me.
Some time later, I found out that an observational drawing I had once done, had for some years, been used my old art teacher, as an example in his lessons. This was despite the fact that the sugar paper it had been made on was fraying at the edges! Not just an Art Teacher but the School Careers Adviser, too, it was him who suggested I consider studying Art.
2. Did you study Art after leaving school?
Yes I did, although not at first. My grandfather, a respected surgeon, thought I should study something “sensible” like law or medicine as I had very good academic grades. As I am bilingual in Dutch and English, I chose to study French and Italian with European studies at University. I did this for a year, but realized, that I kept being drawn back to art, spending all my spare time drawing and painting. I also missed the art school environment. So I ended up going back to art school. After several years at College I completed my MA at Brighton University thus combining an academic and artistic education.
3. What inspires you to create?
The environment around me. This could be travel; a beautiful view; a garden layout or even something as simple as a blossom branch lying on the ground or a tiny weed growing in the grass.
4. Have you always worked in this medium?
I have worked mainly in acrylic, as I like the speed at which it dries and the varied ways in which it can be manipulated.
5. What has been your biggest achievement?
Being able to communicate my visual interests to others through the medium of art. It is a very special feeling when someone falls in love with a piece of art you have created.
It makes all the struggling to communicate something visually, worthwhile. The fact that someone understands and appreciates what you want to say is hugely rewarding.
Being selected for the Contemporary Painting Prize FRINGEMK Finalists Catalogue, and the Light Space Time International Online Gallery gave me a special recognition award. My work has also been printed in a Finnish art magazine HESAInprint.
And last year, my work was used in an independent film, which was screened at the Institute of Contemporary Art in the Mall, London. That was great fun.
6. Is there an Artist whose work you admire?
Many! And I am continually discovering more! Bonnard, Raoul Dufy, Matisse, Picasso, Howard Hodgkin, Pete Doig, Beatriz Milhazes are simply a few!
7. How has your work/Style changed over the years?
I have worked in a variety of ways but the core idea has always been the same, to translate they joy and beauty I feel in the world around me, into a piece of art in some way.
8. Where do you see your art in the future?
I have been working on some larger canvasses at the moment and would now like to mix this with some smaller work. I would like to explore the fine line between abstract and figurative painting further.
9. If you could live as any artist for just one day who would it be and why?
David Hockney. I think he has been very good at “getting out there” and keeping control at the same time and I would like to learn from him how to market myself better.
10. What advice would you give to a young artist just starting out?
If this is what you want to do, keep at it. There are no shortcuts.