Thursday, January 14, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Marie Fox

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Marie's painting, "Beach Nap" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Marie's DPW Gallery Page:

Painting is my passion. I’m wild about the act of painting and the subject of the female figure. Now I paint about strong women. In Greek mythology, women were as powerful as men. They were gods. I like to think, and my collectors seem to, that my painted women are their descendants. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.  Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I knew I loved art when I chose to major in Art History at college. After moving to California, I became an artist by pursuing my passion to make things - by sewing hand-dyed silk into clothing, sculpting marble and creating pottery. All the while I was earning a living as a museum Art Conservator. A decade later, I felt a strong need to return home in New England where I was soon inspired to tell stories of my childhood in a folk art painting style. My career soared when the White House commissioned two paintings, and The Today Show, Country Living Magazine, Panasonic and Toyota featured my work. As a folk artist, I sold many paintings and over sixty thousand prints internationally.

Beach Nap
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Marie's interview.

So why did my tiny folk art farm women grow big and swap out their gingham dresses for spandex bikinis to become the women I paint now? I simply knew that I no longer needed to explore the past and could pursue my lifelong love of the human figure. I’d drawn figures but never painted them until seven years ago. I’m passionate about the architecture of the human form and specifically the curves and angles of the female body. So painting strong women is now my heart’s desire, as was folk art earlier in my life.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I love both oil and acrylic, but now use the latter because it’s virtually odorless and dries fast. After my folk art period and before my current women, I created many still life paintings in oil. I’m convinced that all those studies of pears and apples trained me quite nicely for the rendering of female shapes!

(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I find that I sometimes make art that looks or feels as if I’ve done it before. Of course, each piece is exciting to me as I paint it, but I may feel that the outcome is not new, or unexpected in a good way. Now, I have a strong desire to push into new territory and am eager to explore that place, wherever or whatever it is.

Who or what inspires you most?

Matisse and Picasso are certainly at the top of my list, the first because of his lyrical line and the second for the sculptural feel of his figures. Both were prolific and experimental, and I love their push into abstraction. In college I also admired Early Italian Renaissance artists such as Masaccio and Piero della Francesca.

Face of Woman
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It looks like unanswered emails and a neglected garden. The room in my house that knows me best is my studio.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I tend to daily tasks in the morning so I can paint the rest of the day.  A half hour into my time in the studio, I feel like Alice who's fallen down her rabbit hole into a magical place outside of time.

Orange Barrette
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Mostly by looking at photos of art models to find a pose that inspires me.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging? 

It’s a curious thing, but when I tell myself to paint for myself alone, I often come up with something new or intriguing. However, if I think of creating art just to sell or for others to admire, I stay stuck in what I’ve been doing.

(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

As a figurative artist, I need to know anatomy, so I take classes and study it in books and online. I find that a better understanding of the structure of the human body is liberating. The slowly acquired knowledge allows me to be more inventive and expressive with my painted figures.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I absolutely love the process of making art, frustrating as it is. I know I’m privileged to be able to do what I most enjoy doing. It’s also an honor to have people admire my work and collectors purchase it. That makes me happy!

Thanks, Marie!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

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