Faculty

Marian Steen

Marian Steen

I usually start my paintings with large washes of watercolor, pouring and dripping the paint, taking full advantage of the “wet on wet” technique favored by many watercolorists. Later I use textures and collage materials in a layering process.

I think of collaging as keeping a visual art diary and I often incorporate into my paintings handmade paper, strings, found objects, or scraps of memorabilia that have personal meaning. I use items such as pieces of antique lace that my grandmother made, material from a favorite dress of my mother’s, a tie from my father, or a ribbon from one of my daughters. I incorporate objects connected to my own memories in the paintings, thereby transforming the past into something new. By doing so, I try to represent the passage of time.

I include dark spaces in my work to acknowledge the existence of negative aspects of life, such as struggle or pain. But I want my paintings to be ultimately hopeful and beautiful. I want the people looking at my work to be drawn into it. I want them to take a moment from their day to enjoy the interplay between color, line, and texture, and hope that they find this brief respite rewarding.