When I was very young, around 2 years old, my parents divorced. Not an easy decision for my mother at the time, because back then a single woman with a child was still a bit disreputable and you didn't necessarily get a job, let alone an apartment. So we moved back to my grandparents and my mother and I “lived” together in a small room. My mother worked hard long into the evenings and later even went abroad and left me with my grandparents.
Despite all the disappointments and adversities, I have to say that I had some of the best years of my childhood back then.
Nevertheless, I often felt abandoned and alone and took refuge in the magical world of colors, painting, drawing and reading. I painted and drew wherever I went and thus created my own colorful, bright, friendly world. Even the books that I read, no, not read - devoured - came to life in my imagination in the most colorful colors.
Later, when I graduated from high school, it was about deciding what my future path should look like and what I wanted to do. Back then, my entire family advised me to definitely have to do something with languages, because I (admittedly) learned languages so easily and quickly, and at the time I already knew English and French very well. French was my second mother tongue because my mother brought me to Monte Carlo when I was nine and I went to full-time school there for two years at the École des Dominicaines.
As it is now - all say one thing, you do the other.
I WANTED TO PAINT!
I wanted to be creative, paint, draw! Nothing else!
I applied for communication design at the Folkwang School in Essen-Werden and was accepted from among 500 applicants! The study time was the most beautiful and free time that I was allowed to experience and I also made the most of it - I studied for 7 years - with like-minded friends from university. We shared a studio where we worked together, made music, held open readings and of course celebrated parties. A wild, wonderful time! This was suddenly ended by the suicide of our friend and studio mate, who was manic-depressive and whose parents owned the house with our studio. None of us could imagine a continuation without Bärbel.
So I graduated with a diploma and went to Munich.
For many years I worked as a freelance communications designer in the field of illustration, layout and web design for school book publishers such as List-Schroedel, Langenscheidt-Longman, for the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and for small and medium-sized companies.
But that wasn't what fulfilled me - creativity was often very limited and determined by the ideas and expectations of the customers. At some point - also due to the life situation that my marriage failed, I lived alone with the children and now needed a permanent job to keep us afloat - I gave up self-employment and looked for another job. One on a € 400 basis first in my daughters' school, then in the newly created BMW world, which was still almost a construction site at the time when we started to develop customer service there, and then at Edenred Germany, where I now almost work I've learned so much in the past 10 years.
This activity made it possible for me to live, not only to survive, but to really live and that gave me space to rediscover my creativity at some point! Finally! At first I approached the canvas with a lot of respect, not to say fear, and didn't know where to start. For the sake of "simplicity" I started with realistic depictions and still lifes. I was attracted to glass because of the complexity of the representation! I have achieved some mastery in this area and closed the subject for myself with my “Hommage àuttkopf”. That was just technology and I wanted more!
So I gradually got into abstract painting and I knew - that's it! This is mine! I was finally able to play with colors, shapes and materials as I wanted and how I felt at the moment! And what was best - people liked it! Not only to my family and friends, but also to outsiders, strangers who knew nothing about me and my story!
Since then I have been painting, expressing my intuition, my mood and not being restricted by anything. Painting is like breathing for me, I can't do without it, I MUST! This is my life and I express it in every single one of my pictures, as unique as my fingerprint.