I am a self-taught contemporary abstract Artist 

I am creating contemporary abstract acrylic paintings and digital abstract art – Limited Edition Prints

I was born in Germany in the city of Düsseldorf, and lived there for many years. I also lived in Sweden close to the Arctic circle in the city of Umeå. In the winter the days are cold and dark with a little bit of twilight and in the summer there is daylight 24 hours – now I am living in Missouri in the United States of America where the summers are long, hot and humid. 

I do not paint something real – the aim is not known

I like getting surprised by my pictures

My painting does not follow a plan. I do not start a painting with the idea of how it has to be at the end – the result is unknown. If I would know – I would not start to paint. The artwork would already be painted in my head and the result would have no surprising effect. But in my painting I like to work with the unknown. There is no other aim than to have simply fun – to enjoy every moment in the painting process.

My abstract acrylic art paintings and digital abstract art prints are pure intuition. Pure intuition and the process of trial and error are for me the key to creating abstract art. I like getting surprised by the colors and the structures emerging on the canvas or on the screen and then on the print.

If something painted feels boring, it is not worth keeping it

As long as something in the painting feels not right – just boring, displaced – the process of painting, the process of preserving vs. destroying, expanding vs. reducing has to go on.

Destroying vs. preserving and reducing vs. expanding are for me central issues in the painting process that need to be answered constantly. To answer these questions seconds or minutes can be enough, but sometimes it takes weeks that can add up easily to months.

At the end of the painting process, there is a final step the artwork has to take. I have to watch the artwork over a certain period of time. If I still like it and it does not bore me – it is ready to show in my gallery.

The process of creating abstract art does not follow a meaning

There is no single meaning in my paintings

I do not have the intention of giving my paintings a single meaning. My paintings are mostly untitled and there is no story about the picture to tell. The meaning of a picture develops in the eye of the beholder and therefore it is individual and subjective, and can never be a single one.

There is no other reality than what the picture reveals to the viewer. A specific title – based on my interpretation would direct the viewer to focus on the single story – on my story. Don’t think that there is an authority, who tells you what to think when exploring paintings.

Find your own interpretation, your own meaning of my paintings. If you just like to watch my paintings – then, this is the meaning behind the art – just like to watch it. This is pretty much enough.

But sometimes I will make an exception, I will tell my interpretation, my story of how I see my painting and I will give them a title. But your creativity to find a title and a good story should always be your first choice of how to see it.

In that sense, enjoy your view of the artworks and follow your inner meaning.


Merging “abstract painting” and “new media” together – something new will emerge.

Contemporary Digital Abstract Art

During my painting process I capture digitally every color stroke, every splash of color, every single layer of paint. I am getting “digital fragments” of my paintings. These fragments are the raw material for my Contemporary Digital Abstract Paintings.

In the beginning the picture at the end is not known

Using these digital fragments for creating a new painting, it is like playing a huge puzzle where in the beginning of the process I do not know how the picture at the end will look like. And there are always more puzzle elements (digital fragments) than the picture at the end needs.

By not knowing how the picture will look like, I do not know which of these fragments I have to use and where I have to place them on the digital canvas (layer). Do I have to alter these fragments by reshaping the form, the color, the sharpness, the brightness do I have to use it more then once and so on?

During this form of painting I have to figure out what elements are going to make sense. It is the same process like painting with acrylic or oil on the canvas. After every change on the digital canvas, I have to answer myself the questions, do I have to preserve it or destroy it – to expand it or reduce it. By doing so, one main question is guiding me – does it look boring? If so, it is not worth keeping it. I have to change something – definitely.

From Canvas to the Print

I am expanding the painting process from the painted canvas into the computer to the software, on the computer screen to the print. From the palet knife, any sort of squeegees, or any other tool, to the tools the painting software is providing me. At the end a whole new art picture is created.

A digital abstract art painting



 © 2020 Ralf Jahnke-Wachholz
contemporary abstract artist – paintings and digital abstract art prints



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