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Marlene Struss

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Marlene Struss

Born: 1950

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Based in: Santa Barbara

 

I'm a California girl, agnostic product of Catholic schools, and inveterate artist. My art degree is from University of California at Santa Barbara, where I am blessed to still be. Since college I've created bodies of work in pastel, surrealistic collage, abstract collage, digital painting and acrylic painting at present. I've shown mostly locally but have branched out as far as Russia and England and my work has appeared in several international art books. I'm represented by the Corridan Gallery and the 10 West Gallery, both in Santa Barbara. My work can also sometimes be seen, if you're looking for it, on television shows such as The Catch, The Big Bang Theory, and Man with a Plan, Mom, Ballers, Lucifer, Ballers, Gray's Anatomy, N.C.I.S. LA, as well as some commercials.

My painting for a while now has been about the magnificence and mystery of nature. I call it biomorphic abstract expressionism. Color is the primary element I focus on, and the image unfolds as I experiment with unusual applicators and methods of putting down and removing acrylic paint of varying viscosities. I don't think about drawing; I wait to see what happens, which allows for striking and surprising organic patterns and designs, but requires restraint. My preference for universes and universal themes, as opposed to singular objects and events, and for passage of time rather than moment in time is obvious in the intuitive esthetic choices I make for each fenestrated layer of color. My goal is to present beauty, balance, color harmony, interest, and vitality — as an antidote for the anxiety of the manmade world.

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Taming the Earth

Marlene Struss, United States

Painting

US$ 3,500

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Man Sleeping Under a Tree in His Favorite Shirt by Marlene Struss

Marlene Struss, United States

Painting

US$ 3,000

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Look to the Light by Marlene Struss

Marlene Struss, United States

Painting

US$ 500

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Village in a Tree by Marlene Struss

Marlene Struss, United States

Painting

US$ 2,400

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Call and Response by Marlene Struss

Marlene Struss, United States

Painting

US$ 2,500

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About Marlene Struss


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What inspires you?

Any kind of great color experience turns me on, whether it is a painting, beautiful skin tones, flora and fauna, sky and water, or a beautifully appointed home. I am also inspired by sound . I associate birds chirping and tweeting, wind and other ambient noises with music, and music and rhythm with color and graceful movement.


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Describe your creative process.

I call my style biomorphic abstract expressionism. With a focus on color, I paint intuitively without preconceived images, letting each process or layer inform the next and letting paint do what paint does, therefore setting up a cocreative partnership with the painting, reminiscent of nature/nurture. To give the paint as free rein as possible, rather than draw, I experiment with a multitude of unusual tools, such as yarn, squirt guns, T-shirts, acetate, rubber balls, straws. alcohol, etc., to apply, remove, or manipulate the paint, producing surprising patterns and effects.


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What are 3 words that best describe your work?

colorful sensuous movement


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Who are some artists that have influenced your work?

Gerhardt Richter, Ed Moses, Mark Bradford, Laddie John Dill, Charles Arnolde, Romare Bearden, Helen Frankenthaler, Maxwell Parish


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What is the most important tool when creating your work?

Probably a sponge, as I do a lot of wiping away.


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What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Always root for the underdog.


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Where do you go for inspiration?

I go to either my back deck for its verdent cacophony and/or to Instagram and many art exhibits.

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