Paintings largely showed the world as flat until the Renaissance became interested in perspective. With the advent of photography, abstract art, and digital devices, paintings reduced the world once more to flatness. Why am I attempting to represent three-dimensional visual experiences on a 2-D canvas? Having enjoyed wide vistas at the North Sea while growing up, and later, as a scientist, visualizing neural networks of brains, could explain my focus on volume occupying space. Thus, it is natural for me to attempt to paint what I perceive or imagine three-dimensionally. Loving the outdoors, most of my motifs pertain to nature, often relating to great bodies of water – Lake Michigan and the majestic Hudson River – and interested in what people do, I sometimes put them into my paintings. My other great love is color. Experimenting with mixing lovely earth or synthetic pigments is part of my great joy of painting. What is my style of painting? As Gerhard Richter put it: “a style is aggressive and I am not an aggressive person.” It seems that the way I paint reflects what I imagine my subject requires of me. Art that I like to look at was done by my 20th century sisters, Paula Modersohn Becker, Käthe Kollwitz and Anita Rée, who, unlike their brothers Klimt and Schiele, have not as successfully reached the American shores.
My Art: Learned oil painting techniques from Karl Zipser, and human figure drawing from Minerva Durham, NYC. Exhibited paintings in Michigan at the Grand Rapid’s artprize.com and in juried exhibitions at the Dennos Museum and Oliver Art Center. Exhibited charcoal/pastel drawings of the human figure in NYC at the springstudiosoho. Member of artandperception.com.
Art Publications: The Art of the Sleeping Bear Dunes, page 44. (Leelanau Press, 2013); The Artists’ Round Table, pages 108 – 115. (Mitchell Graphics, 2016)
Science: B.S. from Columbia University, NYC; Ph.D. in the Neurosciences from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NYC; founding director of James Watson’s Neuroscience program at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, NY; sabbatical with Candace Pert at NIH, MD; Mathilde Solowey Award in the Neurosciences, NIH; Professor of Physiology at Michigan State University, MI.
Born: in Germany as Birgit Ostermann; professionally known as Birgit Zipser.
Where: Living both in NYC and Empire, MI.