Statement
Portfolio

I attended Moore College of Art and Design for Women in the 1970's, my primary purpose to prepare for a design related job; afterwards I designed graphics for television news. Though I did not study painting at Moore, I had an inspiring drawing teacher there with whom I at times worked in pastels in addition to charcoal and pencil. For a while during the early eighties, I worked again in pastel, quite differently, doing courtroom sketches for the news.

Having retired from television in 2000, I can finally devote more time to drawing and painting. To that end, I have been studying with several of Philadelphia’s best realist painters, and have attended the International School for Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture in Umbria, Italy.

Throughout this time I have been painting from direct observation, both indoors and outdoors, choosing motifs that combine material evocative for me with tonal patterns I find compelling. I want a painting of mine to convey what it was like standing in a particular spot for a prolonged period admiring what was in front of me.

I have painted the landscape on site, among other places, in the Delaware Valley; Fulton County, Pennsylvania; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; and Umbria, Italy. Then, in addition to some still lifes and figurative studies, I have done a number of larger, more sustained drawings and paintings of interiors, including a series relating to the theme of music.

As an additional piece in this process, I like to look at the work of other painters, especially those who explore subtle nuances of color and tone, and who achieve a persuasive illusion of light in this way. Some examples are Vermeer and De Witte, Rembrandt, the Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershoi, the English painter William Nicholson, and the American painter Edwin Dickinson. I am drawn to the winter scenes of some of the French Impressionists and the New Hope painters, and to the landscape sketches of Camille Corot.

 
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  © Marjorie Russell 2010
updated: 02/03/2010