Following the heart’s calling
Art is a powerful tool of self-healing. It can bring serenity and at the same time sense of achievement to oneself. It can facilitate to connect with one’s own deepest core and bring out the best of the individuality in a person. It just needs an individual’s self-application to follow the own heart´s calling. When one follows that calling with conviction and perseverance an artist is born with in. Magdalena Breiteneder (31), a budding architect and designer from Austria is such an artist, who followed her hearts calling since her childhood. She goes by artists name Lena B and is a native of a little village in Upper Austria. Her childhood passion and inspirational drive was to draw with simple and perfect lines. Lena’s parents recognized her creative talent very earlier on and encouraged her to pursue her wishes. To facilitate that talent her father built her a drawing table on which she could spend hours trying to create something from her own fantasy world. Her mother used to run a toy shop and always would provide her with different kinds of pens and papers to help and nurture Lena’s inner artist. Eventually, with great patience Lena taught herself how to draw using perfect lines even before she stepped into school where she learnt further aspects of Art.
However, Lena who was always surrounded by green lush landscape and daily horse riding decided to leave this beautiful, peaceful and cosy environment and move to Vienna for higher studies But over a period of time city life overwhelmed Lena. Restless nature of the city and lack of time for self and personal endeavours beginning to develop sort of a creative barrier in her mind. That lead to completely pause to her passion for drawing. It is, in fact, a challenging early twenties for any woman, Lena was not different. Initially, she struggled with a mixture of new life in Vienna that included work and study, mounted by stress of the divorce of her parents, which often created a feeling of being far away from home or having no home. Overall, her quality of life got a lack of peace and was no more a space and place of serenity. All these aspects bothered Lena’s inner self, very deeply. Finally, strong desire to be in peace and serenity again helped her to reconnect with her lost connection to her own deepest core. She inspired herself to be creative again. As a solution Lena moved to a greener and more peaceful part of Vienna to live. That was also the time she found love in her life and that very love encouraged her to bounce back on her creative path. That is how she started drawing again after several years of gap. Returning to the space of creativity or art gave her feeling of being liberated and made her rejoice in her life again. Eventually she found the peace clubbed with continuous expression of creativity that she was longing for.
When Lena draw/paint she does not think or visualize of an idea, concept or subject. She just let the spontaneity guide her through the process of artistic creation. Sometimes she is methodically uses lines to create her works, but sometimes she lets impatience speak through the work. Once the act is over, she always reflects upon the quality of creation and connects those pieces of artwork to her own life experiences. What is important to Lena is her own state of mind, relationships, experiences of life through various attitudes, emotions such as grief, anxiety, loss, rapidness and powerlessness etc, and more over her fascination for nature and animals. Ultimately, she zeroes in on importance of Peace. All these concerns eventually speak through her characters in her work. Therefore, nearly all figures in her work have their eyes closed as her search for peace is her constant goal.
Presently Lena is completing her graduation in architecture at the University of Technology in Vienna. At the same time life has come full circle for her. Today after living over 10 years in the city she is going to return back to her roots with her partner and life companion to create her own Workshop space in Upper Austria that is dedicated to design and manufacture her own branded designer furniture. When she takes break from all these routine events of her life, she just takes a white sheet and draws or paints to keep a perpetual connection to her artist within.
In the process Lena has created a huge body of drawings and paintings that gives her the deserved recognition of a fine artist. Achieving creative simplicity is not every artist’s cup of tea, rather most of us thrive in complexities. But Lena is redefining, in her own way, the minimalism and simplicity in portrait paintings. In my viewpoint she has mastered the art of creating stylized and elongated figures with special characters and that too with absolute minimal strokes, tones and shades of colours.
(Copyright 2021, Deviprasad C Rao. Author is an Artist, Curator, Writer & Artist Facilitator. Founder of Devamitra Artists Collective based in Zurich, Switzerland. He can be reached through this website www.deviprasad.com)