Marlene Struss - Painter
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People often ask about my concept and how I go about creating the images. These are hard questions to answer. I'll start by saying, as you will see from my retrospective, I painted realistically in the past, scapes, interiors, figures, etc., from preconceived ideas. I worked with many media, but always shunned water color because it was too immediate and uncorrectable.
This time around I was actually surprised that my inclination was to embrace the uncontrollable and the "happy mistakes." I wanted to focus on the color and let the paint go where it wanted to, depending on the cards it was dealt, that is, how much water or medium it contained or with what device or what force was used in the application or what surface irregularities were present. I likened it to free will versus fate, or nature-nurture, and the entire painting process became a metaphor for living life.
So what happens is I let the painting image evolve on its own as much as possible layer by layer, but sometimes begin to emphasize emerging patterns through outlining or shading as I gingerly approach the decision to stop. At other times the image simply appears through the process of relentless polishing of the layers.
Some paintings seem complete almost immediately, and others take forever. I don't give up on a painting; I keep working on it until it's pleasing to my eye. Playing god like this, being completely in the "now" when I paint, and loving all colors is probably the reason each of my pieces is quite different from the others. Each is unique, like each living being is unique.