About me – Jutta Bluehberger

Creativity has always been part of my life. But for a long time, I didn’t realize how much she was part of my identity. In childhood and adolescence, she was evident but was not fostered and encouraged enough. The perfectionism of my environment was not helpful either. 

So it took me many detours to return to art and to my present self-understanding as an artist. 

About me - Jutta Bluehberger
Jutta Bluehberger © Studioline Photography

I was born and raised in Vienna, as the eldest of three siblings. After many years of living abroad and a few years of living in Upper Austria, I moved to Strobl at Wolfgangsee (Salzburg). I have been an involuntary globetrotter for a long time due to my work and have lived in more countries than I would care for. During this time, my short introduction was often: “I live on three continents, but I don’t have a home anywhere”. It didn’t do me much good. After 20 years of working in Africa, the nomadic lifestyle became too much for me. This break-down was the beginning of my inner artist’s break-through. 

My main interests include:

  • understanding other people and cultures;
  • the beauty of nature – sunsets, clouds, birds, trees;
  • different kinds of art – painting, drawing, writing, photography and
  • dance, especially worship dance;
  • my faith in the triune God;
  • living in God’s presence.

Glorifying God through my life and my art are very important to me.

Due to my own experience, it is very important to me to help others to find healing and liberation in a similar way. A growing relationship with God and the experience of his love and acceptance can contribute a lot to this. Besides, I think there’s an artist in most people. 

There is a hodgepodge of “arbitrary facts” from my life in an older blog entry.

 

Kunstunterricht als Teenager im Italien Urlaub bei einem befreundeten Künstler, Dolf Scheweder * Early art instructions as a teenager with Dolf Scheweder
Kunstunterricht als Teenager im Italien Urlaub bei einem befreundeten Künstler, Dolf Scheweder * Early art instructions as a teenager with Dolf Scheweder

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My artistic self-understanding (Artist Statement)

My paintings have always been characterized by strong colors, especially blues and yellows inspired by light and water. Appealing color combinations and compositions are an innate talent of mine, which found expression in my childhood and youth, when I was out and about with my camera and intuitively chose the right image sections.

Later during my art studies I discovered painting with pigments and specialized in it. For this I still often use the unconventional, but ancient technique of cold wax technique of painting with pigments. Because through it, I find, the colors come out particularly well. This creates colorful images with strong, bright colors. My paintings are built up in countless layers of color, of which the lower layers shine through to the surface, which gives the images great depth despite the two-dimensionality. In addition, the way I mix the wax ointment with pigments and then apply it layer by layer to the surface with my finger and rag or other tools is a very satisfying, sensual process.

In recent years, I have supplemented pigment painting with the use of marble powder textures. This combination results in so-called material or textured paintings, since their basic design element is a putty that I usually make from marble powder. This structure develops a life of its own during the drying phase, which usually results in cracks and fractures. I then engage in this process painterly by applying several layers of self-produced colors of pigments with different media (tempera, casein, oil, wax). Both the application of the structural mass and the color glazes are done very intuitively. I sometimes combine the application of putties and colors with the opposite – the removal of material or color by wiping, washing, sanding or scratching. This creates special effects.

The resulting paintings are usually very plastic, relief-like, bordering on sculpture. Unlike traditional painting, I am focused on thematizing the textures and colors themselves. This technique belongs to the so-called process painting and works strongly on the basis of intuition and listening to the subconscious.

The longer I work with this technique, the more I am fascinated by the tension between beauty and brokenness. Therefore, my works show very well the imperfection of our reality, but which carries an incredible beauty, and at the same time reflect the longing for perfect beauty and transcendence.

 

How it all began …

In my childhood and youth, I was very creative and others noticed my artistic talent. People often said, “Oh, she inherited that from Uncle Willi.” Uncle Willi was my grandfather. That’s why his praise counted especially when he hung one of my art projects from high school at home.

But then came the upper high school (9th-13th grade). As a dyslexic, I “fled” to a technical college, where I only had one language to study. Unfortunately, we only had technical drawing as subject but no art lessons. And so my artistic vein went underground for many years. At that time I wasn’t even aware that I was creative in many ways, e.g. with photography, graphic design, calligraphy, etc.

My inner artist vegetated underground until there was finally an opportunity to participate in a painting course for adults. I didn’t even know there was such a thing for a long time.

The resurrection of my inner artist 

Equipped with my grandfather’s ancient watercolor paint box, I took part in a weekend of watercolor painting in Siegerland (Germany). What an experience! And the paintings I did during this weekend exceeded all my expectations:

For the next 10-15 years, I painted sometimes more, sometimes less. This often depended more on the circumstances than on my wish to paint. After my first own art show in 2011, I subconsciously felt that I needed more artistic activity. Through a burnout soon after, it became clear that my inner artist can no longer be suppressed without causing health problems. Expressing myself through painting is a deep-seated need and desire. Also, soon the hobby artist category didn’t fit anymore.


The paintings of the early years

380501 Blumenwiese * Flowery Meadow

Image 1 of 32

Blumenwiese, Aquarell auf Papier, 32x24cm * Flowery Meadow, Watercolor on Paper, 9.5x12.5in © 1998 by Jutta Blühberger www.juttabluehberger.at


And so in 2013, I started to take my art seriously and to paint daily. Training at the Leonardo Art Academy near Salzburg (2013-2015) was the foundation for my artistic development. During this time, I discovered the cold wax painting technique with pigments. It was love at first sight and the rest is history. More details can be found in my artist’s biography.

Bei der Artcross Konferenz 2014 im Malerei Workshop mit Eva Flatscher * Artcross conference 2014
Bei der Artcross Konferenz 2014 im Malerei Workshop mit Eva Flatscher * Artcross conference 2014

Website of Eva Flatscher

 

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My artist biography