Monday, 24 September 2012

Interview with Artist Ellen Giggenbach

Ever wanted to go back in time? Our latest interview with Happy Spaces artist Ellen Giggenbach reveals the eccentricity of her childhood home - a fascinating insight - read all about it below! For a limited time, purchase any of Ellen's prints for 30% less – exclusively at Happy Spaces.

How would you best describe your style of art?
To describe my art is to describe myself!  Colourful, happy, with a 50’s feel, folksy and a little quirky!     

What is your most loved childhood memory?
I spent many happy weekends with my mother and sister sewing German “Burda” patterns. When we first arrived in New Zealand, it was stylishly very backward and quite conservative (especially colour wise). My sister and I would turn up at primary school wearing our latest creations only to find that our class mates thought we must have arrived from another planet with our creative combinations such as lime green flares and bright orange blouses!

Who or what was your biggest influence in deciding to become an artist?
My sister and I loved to draw and craft so we where often sent beautiful paints and pencils from Germany, there was nothing more wonderful than opening a brand new box of Crayolla crayons, we used to divide them in half and always argued about who should get the gold one!

 My father was an eccentric geochemist and also a talented artist, he carved folksy motifs in our kitchen cupboards and my mother was a stylish, graphic artist and an amazing sewer. We lived in a very quirky, colourful house in the bush, with old signs as art work and the grooviest 60’s flowery curtains. I certainly didn’t inherit my father’s mathematical brain! Art was defiantly always my best subject.

Which artist do you admire the most?
Picasso! I love his shapes, colours and subjects,

It’s amazing to think he was the first artist to paint like this, I think his style influenced the 1950’s hugely.

 If you could recommend just one book for everyone to read what would it be?
I have never been a big reader, I am too fidgety and when I do take have a few moments to sit down, I enjoy treating myself to visual heaven by looking through my favourite interiors magazines such as "Elle Decoration" and “Inside Out” magazine.

Often just one colour combination or the shape of a piece of furniture can inspire me and have me diving into a new piece of art work.

If you could be a cartoon character for a day who would you be?
Sponge Bob of course! He has such a happy, positive and innocent outlook on life. I have to admit that it was one of the few cartoons that I looked forward to watching with my kids!

What is your HAPPY SPACE?
I have quite a few! Going for walks along the beach with my boys, they are growing fast and probably won’t want to soon, so every time is precious. Creating a new piece of work - it’s such a buzz when all the colours and shapes come together in perfect harmony and I can finally stick it down. Taking photographs up close of flowers, they are so amazing. My camera zooms right into the centres which are often absolutely stunning. Taking time out to enjoy one of my husband Paul’s deliciously brewed coffees, while he gives me an enthusiastic tour of what has sprung up in his beloved vegetable garden. Living in New Zealand!

View Ellen’s beautiful artwork here and save 30% on her whole collection!

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