In conversation with artist Thea Moreno. An artist and mother of seven, originally from Munich and now living in Nuremberg where she works from her studio.
An arts major from Oklahoma, USA, Thea has an interest in the ‘inner’ and in special numbers. I particularly like the expression she uses in her interview that ‘what is drawn is dealt with’ – good advice for all.
Can you talk about your journey into or interest the arts?
Art was always a big part of my life. My father was an artist. my grandmother was an artist – I tried ordinary, it’s just not for me. Through art i can express myself most appropriately. It keeps me happy, sane and centred.
Do you use a sketchbook? I’m interested in what a sketchbook means to you and your work?, or how people develop their ideas.
I do. Books are vital to me. Sketchbooks are vital to me, I keep several at the same time. I often wake up with snippets of my dreams and note them down to save them. I work with lucid dreaming. I work with the Internal Family System (Richard Schwarz/Jay Early 1. I love to read in the Red Book by Carl Gustav Jung 2. I often start a painting and then dream about how to go on with it. How I develop ideas? There is this abundance of images in my mind and I pick the most significant, true, dear ones and work with them.
Your work contains elements of folk references, what themes are you exploring in this?
The themes are my life. The closed vessel, holding on and letting go, the tumbleress, girl holding doll, and so on. What moves me the most has highest priority. I love to work on glass, the only piece of art I got to keep from my grandmother is a painting done on glass. You mention folk art, this was an old craft, being practised a lot in Bavaria, Germany – I follow in that tradition I guess, with a modern twist.
Can you talk about your process of working. How do you work, how often, is there a particular pattern?
I’m starting every day with writing three morning pages (after reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, years ago) and with the question of the dear universe, ‘how may I serve you today?’, everything else falls into place. I draw and paint every day. I sketch in the morning, deciding on two themes I’m working on throughout the day whenever I find the time. We have seven kids, creativity is the key. It can be done. There’s a routine I stick to, I sketch with pencil and ink on a transparent sheet of glass or vintage paper. I let it flow then and see what comes of it. Every couple of days I pick one sketch that s special and strong and paint a big piece on canvas or acrylic glass in oil and mixed media. It usually contains nine significant bits, because there’s nine of us.
Do you find the process of creating work relaxing or therapeutic? I’ve become increasingly interested in the relationship of the sketchbook and the work to the artist.
Both relaxing and therapeutic. They belong together. Therapeutic because they help me see and understand and get stuff out of my system, what’s drawn is dealt with. I can choose themes that lift me up and support my path. And relaxing, because it keeps me sane, centred, calm, kind and generous of spirit. I get to do what makes me feel good and I can lovingly grant that to the people around me.