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 "Old Barn and Queen Anne's Lace" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.
From Marie's DPW Gallery Page:
Hello! I am an artist who likes to paint people, animals, the woods, the beach, wild flowers and skeletons. My medium of choice is soft pastel, although I dabble in acrylics now and then.
Recently I retired from working as a freelance graphic designer, and I'm looking forward to spending more time painting.
I am one of eleven children and grew up in the tiny town of Fennville, Michigan. I was the first girl after seven boys, so, not having a name picked out and my mom being unconscious, Dad and my brothers decided to draw a name out of a hat. Fortunately, Mom woke up in time to name me after her mother, although the boys still called me Mitzi for years afterward.
I live in Ludington, Michigan with my husband, Steve, and our lucky dog, Roger. I walk in the woods and along the beach as often as I can and try to paint every day.
|Old Barn and Queen Anne's Lace|
(click to view)
Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing interview
What did you want to be growing up?
My mother. I wanted to have lots and lots of kids, just like she did. I ended up having three, which turned out to be just the right number, lol.
When did your artistic journey begin?
In kindergarten I learned that if you could draw a horse better than the next person you could make a friend, and also that there were certain things that I was not willing to draw in order to please someone else, i.e., horses with bows on their manes and tails. I thought those were silly things to put on a horse. So I lost a friend, but I liked to think I gained artistic integrity instead, a fair trade, imho.
Did you have any long periods without creative expression? How did you get back on the horse?
When I was working and raising a family, there was very little time to do anything else. I used to draw pictures on my kids’ lunch sacks, ostensibly so they would be able to easily identify them among all the other kids’ sacks, but really, it was just me expressing myself in the only way available to me. A sharpie and a paper bag and five minutes before school was all I had, so I used it as long as the kids would let me.
Which mediums and genres do you gravitate toward? Which ones don’t appeal?
I love pastels, the way they sparkle on paper, and their immediacy. I feel compelled to learn other mediums, so I’ve been practicing with acrylic paint. One of these days, I’ll try oils. Now that I’m retired, I have lots of time to do all the things. I also like building stuff out of cement and clay and cardboard. Whatever is available at the moment works for me. For subject matter, I like to paint landscapes and people and skeletons. Still life is fun, too. Whatever appeals in the moment. I’m a creature of impulse, really.
What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice?
I don’t really think about personal style too much. I figure if I’m painting often enough, and I try to paint every day, my personal style or voice happens all by itself. It can’t help but be present in the marks I’m making and the subject matter I’m choosing.
Name an artist (or artists), well-known or not, who you admire. Why?
John Singer Sargent for his portraits. Currently, I also follow Karen Margulis, Vianna Szabo, Rita Kirkman, and Gail Sibley. I admire their devotion to craft and try to model their work ethic.
If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self — what would that be?
Don’t think, just do. The more art you make, the happier you’ll feel.
Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?
I’m lucky to have a shed to work in. I do my creative work first, everything else comes after that. Turn off alerts while you’re in the zone, and think of this time as a meditation. It’ll set the tone for the rest of your day, I promise.
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?
Talk to yourself like you are your own best friend. Be encouraging and forgiving and all the things a best friend would be. Do the work even if you don’t feel like it and just let muscle memory take over. Sometimes it’s surprising what happens when you’re not feeling especially creative.
What are some of your long and short term goals for yourself or your art?
I’m mostly just plain curious about how far I can take my creative efforts. What will my art look like in six months? A year? Ten years? Only one way to find out!
What does success mean to you personally?
It’d be nice if I sold some stuff, but if I don’t, that’s okay, too. I want to feel like I’ve explored everything I wanted to and success will mean that I got to do that.
What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?
The first time someone asked me to show my work in public. It was back a number of years ago and my skeleton art was part of a show happening during “The Addams Family Musical” in St. Augustine. I remember watching a man thumb through a bunch of my skeleton prints and laughing out loud. That really made my day.
© 2022 Maddie Marine