Monday, August 3, 2009

Featured Artist/Gallerist: Marjorie Kaye - Part 2

This is a two part interview and is continued from Part I.

Please tell us about your newest work series. Do you have a title for this new series? What are the thoughts and inspirations behind the creation of this series? What is the specific message you strive to convey to your viewers?

Marjorie is working on "Folding Light" in her studio in Cambridge.
Photo: Sand T

My newest body of work happened from a serendipitous angle. I have been doing mandala-based drawings for over 20 years! One day I was clearing some space in one of our top floor rooms for a seedling-growing fluorescent set-up (so the cats wouldn’t eat the plants!). I looked around and thought “I am going to paint in here!!!” And so my newest paintings started.

Pyre - Mixed Media: Watercolor, Gouache, Oil Pastel, 6.5" X 8", 2009
Image courtesy of M. Kaye

I have titled them “Gestural Trails”. I quote from my artist’s statement:

“What has been the inner focus of geometric sequence has become a relatively non-linear study in the content of expressive direction…A moment in time is transient; existing however, almost radically in the entirety, recognizable as memory. It is as a ghost of itself, providing waves of light, trails of suggestion. In my paintings I seek to provide a clue to the components of action and energetic expression.”

Indigenous Aliens Locomotion - Swim, Crawl, Fly, Acrylic on Canvas, 60" X 48", 2009
Image courtesy of M. Kaye

In other words, it is the actual energy of creating the paintings that determine the structure itself. I think they cause an initial reaction of becoming saturated in color and the energy of the pieces. It’s almost like dancing with paint. I feel an exhaling, a relief, freedom of movement when I paint them.

Folding Light, 48"X66", Acrylic on Canvas, 2009
Image courtesy of M. Kaye

This painting (Folding Light) is a cross between contrast and subtlety. At once, there are areas that seem to point to themselves, crying for attention - moving through space like a meteorite threatened by a vacuum. They stick out, cornered, seeming to flee from the space around them. Other areas are more communal minded, blending shapes together to create a massive surface. The shapes drop into each other, moving in a circular motion like koi fish in a small pond. They are all essentially restricted, which ultimately leads to an explosion of energy. The painting is a union of opposing forces, energies, textures, and intention.

Could you discuss your creative process? How does it all start, what techniques and materials do you use?

My paintings start as a wash on the surface; in the case of the acrylic paintings, on canvas, and in the mixed media, watercolor on archival mat board. The washes are prepared with just enough pigment to create a differentiation in the surface texture which is propelled by the actual painting of the surface.

Myth - Mixed Media: Watercolor, Gouache, Oil Pastel, 6.75" X 6.75", 2009
Image courtesy of M. Kaye

From this point I pick out shapes and values which are defined as the “base shapes” for the individual piece. I perceive further differentiation in this texture and begin to define the form.

Brief Cascade - Mixed Media: Watercolor, Gouache, Oil Pastel, 8" X 6.25", 2009
Image courtesy of M. Kaye

Layers of paint; light surface and depth, transparent and opaque, are applied until the individual shapes begin to vibrate, alive with direction and intention. These shapes are connected to one another, abutting the edges both form-wise and with the application of color. There is a dichotomy of containment set up against non-restraint which generates the energy.

Here comes the frequently asked question - How long does it take to do one painting (please give us one example)?

I used to get that question with my mandala pieces quite a lot!!! Those took MONTHS to do!

Outcrop - Mixed Media: Watercolor, Gouache, Oil Pastel, 18" X 12", 2009
Image courtesy of M. Kaye

My work now takes between about 5 hours (for the smaller mixed media pieces) and a month (for the huge acrylic paintings 60" x 48" or so – that’s not counting making the stretcher! I love doing that and feeling the surface I’m working on is part of my process. It’s like the difference between making soup stock and buying it in a can.

I love doing that and feeling the surface I’m working on is part of my process. It’s like the difference between making soup stock and buying it in a can.

The 60" x 48" took the longest, of course – I love working on a large surface with these – I love watching each individual area I paint become knitted together when I paint the “negative” space at the end of the painting.

What is the most interesting comment on this new body of work you have heard from a viewer?

Indigenous Aliens - Acrylic on Canvas, 22" X 28", 2009
Image courtesy of M. Kaye

I recently sent over some jpegs to Joanne Mattera, (who you recently interviewed!) a fav artist of mine and a wonderful person besides – and she drew reference to “staccato” notes to describe my texture and strokes. She tied my previous work and present work together with that illustration. I love that reference to musical rhythm.

Are you planning any exhibitions of this body of work in the near future?

Working on it!

How have you handled the business side of being an artist?

As I have become more experienced as an artist it has become a little easier to “get through the wall” of exhibiting.

The Clouds Burned Off - Acrylic on Canvas, 30" X 40", 2009
Image courtesy of M. Kaye

In addition to sending my work “out there”, I decided to create my own niche as an artist and provide venues for myself and others to exhibit.

I admit that I would like nothing more than to wake up and head right for the studio and everything else can disappear! But practicality must be addressed (unfortunately!). Actually, I can’t say it’s unfortunate because it has tied me to other artists and this is a gift.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I have been so pleasantly awakened in the last 5 or 6 months by my new body of work that I can tell you that one has NO IDEA what journeys one is going to encounter along the way.

Weaving of Time - Acrylic on Canvas, 30" X 40", 2009
Image courtesy of M. Kaye

That is the absolute beauty of being an artist. But I know what I hope for, and that is that I get up in the morning and go to the studio – ultimately more than ever. I’d like to see myself continuing to help form a strong community of artists working and doing what they love. I’d love to continue to be there as an encouraging force for young artists, as well.

Any advice or tips would you give to an artist just starting out?

Yes. Do what you feel. Don’t think too much about what you think is expected of you. Work from your purity, from your reality.

Inner World - Mixed Media: Watercolor, Gouache, Oil Pastel, Watercolor Pencil, 18" X 12", 2009. Image courtesy of M. Kaye

Would you provide links to articles and reviews about your artwork?

This will lead you to my writing about Sacred Geometry:

Joanne Mattera’s wonderful art blog – included in her article “Centering”:

Do you offer any art classes? Are you available for commissioned works? Representing gallery if any?

What It Takes - Acrylic on Canvas, 24" X 30", 2009
Image courtesy of M. Kaye

I don’t normally teach, but am not adverse to the idea. I tend to “teach” through the extensive writing I do on the Caladan Gallery site.

I’m open to commissions, sure. I am represented through Caladan Gallery. I recently (in October) had a show at Gallery 263 in Cambridge and am archived on their site. Great space, by the way. I am presently searching for more gallery representation.

Do you have website(s) for interested readers to learn more about your work? Would you like to share your contact info with our readers?

If you go to and scroll to the Members Gallery, click to get in it, and find me alphabetically, you can take a look. I also have some of my earlier work posted.

Cave - Mixed Media: Watercolor, Gouache, Oil Pastel, 10" X 12", 2009
Image courtesy of M. Kaye

Anything else you would like to add?

I appreciate the opportunity to share with your viewers! Thank you, Sand T.