I have been painting since first grade. I took art all the way through 12th grade, but when I went to college. For some reason I didn’t even consider a major in art until I had a roommate who was a graphic design major. I watched her work on projects our entire freshman year with envy, until one day it dawned on me that I too could also major in graphic design and have the fun she was having. So I did!
I retired from my career as a graphic designer in 2001 and have been painting full force since 2003 — just a few months before our son was born. I knew if I didn’t crack down and get to work before he was born, that it would be another 20 years before I had the chance to commit to becoming an artist. So my career and his life began just about the same time. I did my first art show when he was 6 weeks old. (That was crazy. I do not recommend this.)
Q: What got you interested in art?
As a child in school, art always came very naturally to me. I was usually the last kid picked for any team in PE, so art class was a safe refuge for me in both elementary and middle school. Then in high school, I had an excellent art teacher who instilled my life-long love of creating art. She also helped to lay an excellent foundation which allowed me to succeed in my college-level art classes.
I only paint in my studio. In order for me to be creative and focused on my work, I need to be in the midst of a clutter-free and beautiful environment. I also need lots of windows and natural light. The perfect day to paint in my studio is when it is warm enough to have the windows open and I can hear the birds talking to each other while the sun shines in my windows.
Q: How would you describe your style of painting?
My paintings are contemporary, vibrant representations of simple objects or scenes. The primary focus is on color and beauty. I am told they make people feel happy. I find they resonate strongly with children, which I take as a huge compliment. I think kids like the whimsy and intensity of color. They have an almost storybook feel, as I try to make them into a better version of the scene or object I have captured. I would like to think that my paintings are snapshots of a more perfect world which is still yet to come.
Q: What was one of the first things you painted? What makes it memorable?
I painted a “portrait” of my in-law’s house for a Christmas gift for them in 1994. As I was working on creating their present, I kept thinking to myself “THIS is what I was created to do!” But not long after that I began working full-time as a graphic designer for many years, which consumed all of my creative energy. During that season of life, I always dreamed about the time when I would be able to quit my day job and pursue a career as a fine artist. I was lucky enough to reach this place in life back in 2001, and for better or for worse have been living the life of an artist ever since.
All of the paintings I create (with the exception of a few random commissions) are from photos I take. I love to paint flowers, so if we are headed out for a day of fun I will often bring my camera. I am most often inspired by flowers that have the sun shining on them. I find the contrasts between light and dark are what can give a piece the feeling of warmth and sunshine that I am known for in my work. I often paint the flowers that are growing in my yard since I can wait for the sun to be in just the right place to get an even more inspiring photo.
Q: What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating a masterpiece?
This is an excellent question. There are so very many hard steps! I think the process of creating a masterpiece begins with an excellent composition. My painting process then becomes very similar to that of putting a jigsaw puzzle together. With my floral paintings, I paint each little shape and piece, one at a time, as if working in a coloring book. The hardest part is early on when I am still figuring out where all the pieces go. Once it gets to the point where I can see the picture coming into focus, the fun begins. I think the tipping point in a painting’s success is knowing when to stop and when to keep refining.
When I’m nearing what seems like the end of a painting, I try and walk away for a day or two to come back with fresh eyes. Sometimes “almost done” ends up becoming an entire week of more work, but sometimes it is just five more minutes. I find it much more difficult to stop early, but I think some of my big successes have happened when I didn’t try so hard.
To learn more about Marie Scott visit her websites:
Join us for the Artist’s Opening Reception Thursday, February 6 from 6:00 -8:00 p.m. at 428 S. Main St, Greenville. Marie’s art will be on display at the Main Street Real Estate Gallery from January 1-March 31.