Above my desk I have a painting by Petra that says "Relax and Allow"... Every time I look at it, I feel like I breathe a little more calmly and deeply. That's the magic of Petra's art... Petra Hrziwnatzki is a mixed media artist, mother, teacher and soulful inspirer, on a mission to "uplift with art". And she does it so wonderfully. Petra also loves to work with plaster and wax, find out what inspires her!
Laly: Petra, your art is so airy and uplifting, so full of light. Can you tell me a little bit about your process, in particular how you choose your colors and how you infuse light into your work?
Petra: I really live my life focusing on Lightness. One of my favourite mantras is “What you put your attention on grows” and I really live by that. Where do I want to put my attention? On lightness and what really brings me joy. I want that to grow in my life as well as others lives. I want my art to give light into the space that it hangs and when I teach I hope to bring that light into my classroom!
I am a busy mother of 4 small children and creating means a whole lot to me but I do not have hours and hours every day to create like I would love to have! So, I have created a way for me to dive into my joy whenever the opportunity strikes!! One day when all of my children are in school I look forward to spending my days taking online classes, creating new art and just enjoying the silence ;) But, for now it is 10mins here, 30 mins there. My process really allows me to walk into the room to add a layer when the opportunity strikes and I end up with something beautiful to me in the end.
It’s funny, I am really drawn to bright colours when I am looking at other art but really what comes through me are lighter colours like a light teal, creams, grey, pink and yellow. My art is all about the energy that is infused into each piece and the energy I want to put into it is light. I want Light to just pour out and shift the energy of the space it is hanging in.
Laly: I know how much you enjoy working with plaster and wax. Can you tell me what you love most about them? What does working with these materials feel like?
Petra: I really love working with wax and plaster! I was drawn to plaster first and I loved the texture it gave to my pieces.
The texture was something I couldn’t achieve with the mediums I was used to working with (paint and paper). I love getting my hands into the plaster while applying it… I love the creamy texture and I enjoy how I can manipulate it to give the effect I am going for. If I want lots of texture I can add it in but if I want a smooth finish then I can smooth it out or sand it down.
Wax is a newer medium for me but the moodiness it gives has really attracted me! It is actually kind of addictive! I am still learning but using wax is something that I will be doing for a long time to come.
I love running my hands over pieces I have made with plaster and wax… there is something so tactile and dreamy about it!!
Laly: You also have a talent for photographing your natural surroundings, and in particular capturing the softness of light. Can you tell me about that recent outing on a misty morning? What did it feel like? What did you love most about it?
Petra: I really enjoy taking photos of nature. I have been doing that for years now and it is another way for me to go into my joy for a while. Generally I love getting really close up to small flowers that seem like they just fade into the background. I love to shed some light on those little, powerful and full of life flowers!
The other morning it was around 5am and I was cozy in my bed… the house was silent. It was glorious! But, then I looked outside and there was this incredible foggy mist that was hovering so beautifully. I just HAD to go out and photograph this magical morning so I ran outside with my camera…..still in my pyjamas may I add and I drove around my small town taking photos of trees, donkeys and the sun rising. It really was magical. The light of that morning was something out of a movie and the town was just waking up so it was very still. I am so happy that I chose to run outside that morning!!
Laly: Do you have a favorite kind of light? Maybe a favorite season or favorite hour of the day when light resonates with you the most? What does it tell you about yourself? In what ways does it echo your own inner light?...
Petra: This is a really great question that has me really thinking! I have two favorite seasons… Spring and Fall. I love when the air changes in Spring and all things “wake up”. The light starts to last a little longer and the air is fresh…I really become alive again after winter in which I tend to really go inward and hibernate. I love going outside again and seeing all the plants start to bud. Really, it is such a wonderful time of year for me because I am blooming again just like the flowers, trees, bushes…..
Also, I love the Fall. Again, for me it is all about the air and the light. The air changes once again and it becomes crisp and fresh. The light starts to become more golden and orange as everything starts to prepare for the winter. I love taking walks and just being out in nature enjoying changes of leaves.
My favorite time of day is when the sun is setting or rising. It isn’t very often when I am able to enjoy the sun when it is rising but it really uplifts me energetically to be there when the sun starts to rise. I feel the same way about when the sun sets but in a more calming way. When the sun rises I feel very invigorated but when it sets I am very calm. This time of year (spring/summer) around here is glorious… the air smells of fresh cut grass and smoke from people having fires in their yards!!