26 | Fly!

How does a particular model end up on my canvas? Find out which criteria play a role in this process.

My Concept of Choosing Portrait Models

I have quite different approaches for choosing a portrait model. In this case, I was looking for a rather simple subject to focus on mixing the colors and also applying some technical changes I’ve been developing lately. For example, I used no medium and almost no thinner. And I’ve been working primarily with brushes made of pig bristles. In other cases, for example, I look for the challenges presented by the details of a garment or a face full of wrinkles.

But those are just the technical aspects. There is much more behind the selection of a portrait model, which even I sometimes realize only with time, because sometimes I don’t have words for it at the beginning, but only a very subjective, emotional feeling. Even though I say that absolutely all people are beautiful on my canvas, there are certain subjects that attract me more than others at a given time.

oil on canvas
50 x 70 cm | 2021
reference photo: Helmut Schadt

Children As A Subject

I have noticed, for example, that it is becoming increasingly important for me to think about the children of this world in my daily decisions. They are the ones who have to bear the consequences of our current actions the most. And right now, it looks like the earth is in danger. That is why I have already painted a whole series of children from all over the world.

When I look into a happy child’s eyes it makes me happy too. Happy children are the best inspiration for caring When I look into the eyes of a happy child, it makes me happy too. Happy children are the best inspiration for taking care of our environment, our society, our planet, our future – because the future belongs to them. On the other hand, when I look into the eyes of a sad child, that inspiration becomes a request or even a demand, and I ask myself what I can do today to make that child and other children around the world happy people when they grow up.


When the painting was almost finished, I decided to give the girl a necklace with a little bird. I think birds are incredible animals: they are so small and fragile, yet they have such enormous abilities. A lot of animals have that, of course, but somehow I’m in love with birds. They can just fly away when a situation becomes dangerous, they can even fly around the world. They are not immortal, of course, but they are much more likely to be able to survive while others (humans and animals alike) are stuck. So fly, little girl!

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