Artist Member since 2010
144 Works · 118 Comments

Heike Bender Portrait

I have always had a great passion for creativity. While acquiring basic art and craft techniques, I particularly enyoy discovering new things without creative restraints. This is why experimenting with a varity of painting media and materials is an important aspect of my work. Valuable insights into natural sciences which I have gained through paleontological studies and my joy in observing nature, the aesthetics and elegance of natural organisms, are reflected in the selection of painting motifs. These are artistically transformed into relief-like artworks which spontaneously bring to mind preserved fossil plates. I particularly enjoy using leaf metal in contrast with motifs which are frequently organic.

I have been working with leaf metal in combination with acrylic paste and oil paint on canvas since 2008. The acrylic mass is applied with a spatula, squeezed, carved, structured, sanded or filed - structures are very important to me as an artistic expression. Other materials such as eggshells, snail shells, elements from previously modelled objects or sand are also worked into the acrylic paste. Using a leaf adhesive, imitation gold and/ or leaf metal (brass, bronce, aluminium) is fixed to the acrylic relief painting, which is then patinated with oil, acrylic or metal paints and protected against oxidation with shellac varnish. I also use specific metal corrosion effects which are produced by using chemical oxidation solutions. The resultant metal patina, in turn, is protected against further corrosion by means of a fixative spray.

Leaf metal, particularly gold leaf, is a fascinating material to work with. Due to its high reflectivity, it strongly interacts with light. The paintings seem to come alive as they keep changing with the incidence of light during the course of the day, thus developing a dynamism of their own, enhanced by the three-dimensional effect to the relief structure and shadow cast.

I hope that the luminosity of paintings will also brighten your day!
Heike Bender
Heike Bender