March 24, 2013

My Life's Work...So Far

Hello! Yesterday we had a little chat about my Balloon Girls. Today I wanted to let you in on the secrets of my true passion, my mixed media artwork. I'm really quiet about my work and I don't usually talk about it. I think that's sort of part of what makes it interesting. It's a mystery to people.
But because I promised I would talk about all my work, I will pour it all out for you. 

When I was younger, I guess high school age, I was developing my style. I was always serious about art. I like to say that Art picked me. It wasn't something I chose, it just was in my life. I liked pattern, texture, colour, anything repeating. I think in part it was about my need for structure. I loved everything to be equal or the same. I was kind of obsessive about tidiness and perfection. Everything I did had to be perfectly measured out, and all that has pushed me into the way I work today.

I started off doing lots of swirls and shapes that looked like a cross section of something you would see under a microscope. Lots of repetition and detail. Somehow my work developed sort of a tribal or Native American art look. And at first I was so surprised by this, but it was a natural, gradual evolution and it allowed me to look deeper at where my art style was going. 

Okay I know, talking about art is so serious. Sorry!

"Cell Division" (above) was the first piece I really fell in love with. It was different from anything I had done so far. It was more detailed and more beautiful. There was just something about it that I really clung to and knew that this was the new standard for me and everything had to be as good as this. I was so proud of it.

I continued to work in a similar style, but nothing like this ever came out again. So I examined what I liked most about it, and in the end, it was a few things. I liked the collage style. This was the first time I had ever incorporated collage into my work. I was especially taken with the floating circular cut outs. The colours were my next favourite. I loved the brightness. It was breathtaking. And last, the floral wallpaper sections. The gorgeous Asian pattern I had chose to go with my piece was my new inspiration for every piece that followed.

I have always loved wallpaper and vintage fabric. I collected scraps of anything floral or retro looking. My mom had old card game tally sheets from my grandmother, and as a child I would stare at them for hours, because they had gorgeous floral patterns on their covers. I collected everything I could get my hands on. And at that time, it was a little weird. It wasn't even about how pretty the flowers were. Mostly I loved the repetition and the flow of everything. So when I really thought about it, the transition to a wallpaper themed art piece was so natural and I couldn't believe it hadn't happened sooner!

This is what I came out with. I worked on it for hours an hours. In total it took around 20 hours to create. While drawing away and recopying each panel as perfectly as possible, I realized this was going to be my art style. All the pain of drawing it by hand was so worth it in the end. Since then, I've created similar pieces. None of them are alike, but they all have a similar theme. They are all inspired by vintage wallpaper. 

 I really feel like this style was meant to be mine. Every time I create a piece, I get to discover it as I'm working. For me, I start off with a general look, usually the pattern style, and everything else appears as I go. I choose colours and accents to go with how the piece is evolving, so when I'm done, it's even a huge surprise to me. I look back at it and I still feel so proud. I'm proud that I created these and that they have utilized every part of me and everything I enjoy. 

Talking about art is so intense! I hope you got a sense of my work and enjoy my pieces. They're so special to me. I always say it, but if I could keep every piece, I really really would. I would cover my entire house with them. But they're all for sale. These are just a few. There are more in my shop, CharmingShopLove on Etsy. Thanks so much for all your interest. If you read all this, you're the best. Seriously. Happy Sunday everyone.

Marissa xo

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