After nearly two years, Ina-Griet Raatz-von Hirschhausen is ready to open her studio.
Originally from Germany, Hirschhausen said she had to prepare a stock of artwork since all of it was still overseas.
“When I started out here, I had to produce. I can’t say I’m an artist, but everything is in Germany,” Hirschhausen said.
In Germany, Hirschhausen said she was a well-known artist.
“I gave German success up to come to Canada and to come to the Island,” she said.
The two years of preparation wasn’t just for her artwork, Hirschhausen said, she wanted to create a studio that works with her art but is still fun.
The colour scheme of the studio is black and white, but Hirschhausen said it still feels playful within.
“I thought when I come up with a very strict black-and-white scene, but still playful enough with those little things, it would make a good backdrop for all kinds of artwork,” she said. “If I were to put something colourful, let’s say yellow and orange (on the walls), then maybe a serious painting or serious stuff wouldn’t work.”
Her studio, which is located at 1860 Ashling Rd. in Qualicum Beach, is based out of her home at the top of a steep driveway. As of right now, there are a few indicators that there is a studio up ahead, but Hirschhausen said in the future she plans to add outdoor art and poetry guiding people up to the studio.
“In a year from now, in two years from now, the whole driveway will be like a whole art mile you can walk up,” Hirschhausen said.
One of her largest collections is a series of human characters with animal heads.
“I paint human characters, not dressed animals,” she said. “I use animal faces to enhance expressions that I want to express in terms of human beings.”
Along with her paintings, Hirschhausen also creates sculptures, scrolls, marionettes and poetry.
“I’m very convinced that creativity is the biggest source of health and life,” she said.
At one point, Hirschhausen said she was hospitalized and during her time in the hospital there was one painting she had always longed to paint.
Ina-Griet Raatz-von Hirschhausen with one of the signs that will help to guide people up to her home gallery. -- Lauren Collins photo
“My husband brought it to me in front of the bed in the hospital and I was not even conscious all the time, but he propped it in front of me so that when I kind of woke, I could see that painting,” Hirschhausen said. “I knew I had to finish it. Honestly, I think that painting saved my life.”