“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul,
and paints his own nature into his pictures.”
–Henry Ward Beecher,
Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit, 1887
Two weeks ago, I discussed how the starving artist is not so hungry. I referenced impassioned honeysuckles and tulips. Here’s Mirriam-Webster’s definition of impassioned:
Impassioned: filled with passion or zeal: showing great warmth or intensity of feeling.
Today’s guest creates such impassioned paintings. She starts with simple, ordinary parts of nature. Things we’re used to seeing every day, all summer long. Sunflowers, dahlias, zinnias, meadows, and marshes.
But she does more than just see them. As Henry Ward Beecher said, she dips her brush in her soul and paints.
On top of that, I’m proud to say that she was once a student of mine.
Only a handful of my high school art students from the 1980s grew up to be professional artists. Marie Scott is one of them, and it’s no surprise. Even back then, with great skill and dedication, she brought a careful, thoughtful, loving approach to each project. And now, decades later, I still enjoy her fresh and vibrant artwork, hanging on my wall. Her sunflowers are my favorites.
Marie Scott spent the first decade of her grown-up life working as a graphic designer. She eventually quit her day job in 2001 to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an artist who paints “Pictures of Happiness.”
In 2008, after painting blue skies and sunny places for many years, Marie and her family left her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
They chose to relocate their life to South Carolina–for the express purpose of living in a place where the sky most often looks just like the sunny scenes Marie loves to paint.
What do you love to create?
Marie: I am an artist who loves to paint bright, bold, contemporary flowers and also soothing, peace-filled coastal landscape scenes. No matter what the subject matter, my goal is to create pieces which capture a perfect moment in time.
Having spent the majority of my life as a Midwesterner,
I still find myself captivated by the open, tranquil beauty
that is so unique to the Lowcountry (South Carolina).
Even after nine years of life in the South,
I am still falling in love with the beautiful places
found all across this visually-inspiring state.
Where do you get your ideas?
Marie: This probably sounds counter-intuitive, but for me, I think my creative inspiration comes from planning. When I have no “plan” I flounder. Everything feels way too overwhelming, and too big, and too hopeless. But when I have a series of three or more paintings drawn onto canvasses — ready and waiting for me to bring them to life — it is like all the clouds of despair that often chase me at a distance melt away.
With each new oil painting I create, I am striving to evoke feelings of happiness, hope, and peace. I love to paint landscapes that offer an uplifting view of beautiful places. I also love to paint flowers that smile with contentment as they bask in a pool of the sun’s warming light.
Each of my paintings are intended to be snapshots
of one perfect moment in time.
They are meant to provide a glimmer of hope
for this broken world.
How do you create? Say something about your creative process.
Marie: I think my process of painting is very much the same as how one would put together a puzzle.
So my favorite part of my job is when the “puzzle”
is about 80% done and I can feel the momentum build
as I unravel all the shapes and make sense
of so many squiggly lines that I drew onto the canvas
before I began with the paints.
I paint from photos that I take on bright-blue-sky, sunny days. I take a LOT of mediocre photos when we travel. Or sometimes I will just be in my studio or in my yard, or my kitchen, and I will see the sun casting shadows onto a flower so I will photograph that.
I normally paint in a series of three or more pieces, so I will choose photos that I think could all hang together on the same wall. I then take these photos and one by one I put them into my “artograph” projector to project the image onto a canvas which I hang on the wall so it is completely upright. I then copy what I see by “drawing” that image onto the canvas.
What this gives me ends up looking nothing like the original photo. It is more like a jumbled mess of crazy lines. But the main thing it does is help me define the areas of lights and darks and the general composition. My painting style is built on contrasts so this is a really important way for me to get these areas placed correctly.
Some people may call this cheating. But I don’t think it is. I am perfectly capable of drawing a photo onto my canvas. I would just rather use my time to paint with color than draw a boring gray pencil line. I love how there are no hard fast rules in art. (Unlike so much of the rest of life!)
Who wouldn’t be inspired in this beautiful light-filled studio?
Next time, Marie will share more about the blend of art and business. Stay tuned . . .
Whether or not you’re an artist, which locale is the most inspirational for you?
Please add your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
P.S. Next time: Marie will share more about the blend of art and business.