I met Marcie at the reception for UMUC's Mind, Body, Spirit: Celebrating Regional Women Artists. Her Rock Creek Trees, painted in acrylic on tar paper was displayed near my piece and was a smaller work, like mine. And her vibrant painting was one of my favorites in the show.
She teaches classes for children and adults in her studio at Pyramid Atlantic Arts Studio, with accommodations offered for students with special needs to ensure access and provide full participation. Marcie can communicate in American Sign Language and has experience working with deaf and hard of hearing students. She earned a B.A. in Studio Art from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Encaustic painting, charcoal drawing with mixed
media,oil stick, collage elements and wax.
14”H x 9.75”W x .5”D
media,oil stick, collage elements and wax.
14”H x 9.75”W x .5”D
Q: What's the one thing you'd like people who aren't familiar with you/your work to know about you?
A: I’m honest. I guess it must translate to my work because I’m focusing on what I’m seeing. It is something I value and feel compelled to investigate or look at further. I may be revealing something internal as I incorporate text into my mixed media paintings.
Q: What's your favorite piece from your recent show and why?
A: “Yours Truly,” a charcoal and encaustic painting that includes a postcard collage, is my favorite piece from my series of figure and encaustic painting. In "Yours Truly" the woman's posture does not look relaxed, but ready for new experiences, energetic and upbeat. She is thinking about what’s to come. The lines I’ve drawn in the wax background, which derive from the style of my charcoal drawing, convey her potential energy.
I feel “right on” with the amount of color, the intensity of color and the color of the rustic-looking wood. The postcards give another sense of time to the artwork--- history, including a photo of a lone person standing on the sidewalk. I've combined these elements and it is not an obvious message, but has a spirit about it. She feels young and vibrant; I like that.
Q: Do you paint intuitively, with a hardcore plan, or somewhere in between?
A: For the purpose of illustration, I have a definite plan. I’ve been working on illustrations for my husband’s children’s book, “The Shiny Shell,” an environmental fantasy about a boy who is befriended by a dolphin. The two travel to another galaxy where they attend “The Gathering.” The dolphin introduces the boy to sea creatures at The Gathering where they work together to solve ecological problems. I have been using a combination of charcoal drawing and encaustic painting in this series. I love the gentleness that can be conveyed in charcoal and have been pleased with the dreamlike quality achieved by combining the drawings with encaustic painting. My plan is to paint in wax with the charcoal drawings for the final children’s book illustrations.
I approach other subjects differently. In my landscape plein air painting or in painting in the studio I work on a composition which begins with a drawing, either in pencil, charcoal or loose brush. I aim to retain the energy of the drawing in my painting. The starting point of the drawing may be intuitive rather than planned.
Q: Who is your biggest influence and why?
A: Larry Rivers and Richard Diebenkorn first come to mind. I’ve always loved seeing the evidence of drawing, and energy in their paintings. I especially like Diebenkorn’s involvement with geometry in lines, planes and areas of color. A few years ago I saw the John Alexander retrospective exhibit at the American Art Museum. I am inspired by the energy of his brushwork, and the richness of color and contrast of light in his paintings. I am very much drawn to the color palette of local painter Ellyn Weiss. I also admire the sensibility of line in her drawing. Colors in her individual paintings feel right together. I was fortunate to have Ellyn give me a tutorial in encaustic painting.
Q: For your recent show, did you do anything differently... new techniques, subject matter, palette, etc.?
A: I’m joining my husband in an artist’s market, and am bringing my smaller, “more affordable” paintings done on a smaller scale -- approximately 5” x 9”. I’m varying the palette, but continue to lean towards the blue/aquas.
Q: What do you feel is the best thing about being an artist in the DC area?
A: Many things come to mind, such as access to the museums (Smithsonian Museums, National Gallery of Art, The Kreeger Museum, The Katzen Art Center at AU); Rock Creek Park and Great Falls National Park; life drawing sessions; and my studio at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center. One of the best things about being an artist in the DC area is the Artomatic experience. Its a reminder that we really have an art community breathing with life. Artomatic brings a greater audience to view art and to participate in art. It’s inviting, fun, daring and it’s a season when our area comes alive.
Q: As an artist, what have you noticed outside of DC?
A: Visiting other places can be good for the soul.
I have visited Philadelphia five or more times in the past three years and feel that Philadelphia supports its artists (and vegetarians.) I’ve learned that the city of Philadelphia has the most murals in any city in the world. It's obvious that the city is innovative in ways to support artists and has been successful in implementing outreach for individuals related to arts in healthcare settings, in healing, and for at-risk youth. It seems to be celebrated. Being in the area of the Old City, you see the energy that art brings to the area in the galleries, the foot traffic -- it just always seems lively when I visit.
Last year I had the opportunity to spend two weeks in Southwestern VA teaching an artist residency at Covington High School. Over the two week period, I visited Lewisburg, WV, Lexington, VA, and Roanoke VA. I was overtired after driving non-stop to get to Covington, but accompanied my host to attend an informative lecture at The Divas and Iron Chefs of Encaustic exhibit at Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, VA. Many people came to hear the lecture and enjoy the art and reception. I visited Lewisburg, WV twice and was able to speak with gallery owners and others in the town. The first Friday art evening in Lewisburg was popular. I was very impressed with the revitalized area of historic downtown Roanoke. Roanoke’s Artist Open Studios were well-attended and people were enthusiastically buying art.
It was great to travel in New England last month. Highlights in viewing art: Visited the Corning Museum of Glass for the first time and highly recommend it. It was our second visit to MASSMOCA in the Berkshires - always exciting. We attended an author’s talk at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and I felt inspired to see the range of children’s book illustration in a beautiful museum. It was great to draw and enjoy the scenery. I feel fortunate that I was able to visit Maine this Summer and spend time canoeing to private places and drawing in the beautiful unpopulated areas in peace and quiet.
Q: How would you describe your recent work?
A: My encaustic paintings can be rugged with the wood support and textural elements, but I retain my focus on the grace of the figure. I have loved re-immersing myself in figure drawing and combining drawing with wax painting adds to my excitement. The effect produced by applying wax to charcoal drawing is that of an image floating on vellum. The “back and forth” of additive collage imagery is married with encaustic’s mysterious depth and transparency. Drawing and carving into the wax with a tool and then applying pigment augments the sense of energy in the brushwork.
Here are some comments I’ve received about the series:
“How wild and calm it is at the same time, the lines are wild and fast...love it.”
“Harmony as well as contrast in colors...great achieved balance.. Exquisite use of media...”
“I love the tonal quality and the colors...Pow! You've aroused my taste in art buds with this series.”
Thanks, Marcie! It was great to get to know more about you and your work.