MUNTHE ART MONDAY: CLAUDIA STAPEL
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
My name is Claudia Stapel. I’m a Dutch artist based in Arnhem City. I love to paint women’s portraits who almost without exception, look you straight in the eye. Their gaze is veiled. There is a story in every one of them. My process starts with a bare canvas waiting for layers of paint that build meaning and expression, inspired by personal experiences.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
Of course, being an artist and a mother caused some obstacles on the road to success. But the blood creeps where it can’t go, so I managed a way around it, and still be able to grow as an artist. With being a female artist comes the natural ability of using your emotions, vulnerability (if you dare ;-)) and your preferences in your work. I’m privileged to live in a country that embraces differences. That’s an advantage I’m very conscious of.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
Lita Cabellut. She’s a Spanish artist based in the Netherlands with an eventful life. Her portraits are mind-blowing. I hope to control my materials like her someday. Michelle Gurevich, singer and writer of ballads from Ukraine. Her music and lyrics touch my soul, she never avoids, and she dares to live.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
Maybe the prejudice of being a female artist in an entrepreneurial environment. Being the wife of a businessman who’s hobby of course is painting. And if it is possible to get that portrait for free? I mean come on, really…;-))
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
I’m always searching for contrasts in emotion, technique, and materials. I love the element of surprise. I never know what the next layer may bring. I hope people will recognize parts of themselves and relate to my portraits, because their eyes reflect my soul.