Marlene’s Perspective on Art

For Marlene art is a journey as in Constantine Cavafy’s poem “Ithaka”, where the journey is more important than the destination. Her art is introspective and reflective with impulses from reality, but relying on memory to modify it and interpret her thoughts. For her there should always be a balance between the emotional and the rational seeking harmony, thereby treading a thin line. This harmony is expressed in her landscapes and figures seeing the myth, the stories behind the subject. She sees her stillifes mostly as metaphorical self-portraits.

I paint the way I paint

For a long time I have been asking myself whether I should paint like some people have suggested that I should paint “for the market”, that is, making pretty pictures, something that is completely alien to me. I want the viewers of my paintings not only to enjoy them because they are pretty, but also because they make them think. Recently I came upon something that the great French painter Henri Matisse (1869-1954) said about the necessity of artists to be absolutely sincere in their work: “It is advisable first of all to acquire the habit of not lying, neither to others nor to yourself. That is where we have the drama of many artists today. They tell themselves: I am going to make concessions to the public, and, when I have enough money, I will work for myself. From that moment [on], they are lost … Watch out, then, for concessions.” (Flam, J.D. Interview with Degrand 1945. In Flam, J.D. 1978. Matisse on art. New York: E.P. Dutton, page 104.) This has put my mind at rest to paint the way I see fit to paint.

Marlene on her Art:

“I want my paintings not to be pretty pictures on a wall. I would like my paintings to tell a mini story every time they are being viewed and thereby grow on the viewer. For that reason I say that interacting with a painting is like a journey, not just for one day, but for an extended time. One could also compare the interaction with a painting to the reading of fairy tales, plays or poetry that can be re-read again and again, and every time something new is discovered in them that expands and enriches life. In other words, my paintings do not have a sell-by date. I would like my paintings to give a sense of quiet, of reflection, removed from the noise and humdrum of everyday life. They should expand and enrich the viewer’s life and should give the viewer a sense of wholeness.”

Here is a Youtube clip of Marlene working on a painting

Marlene’s works available at the Smelik & Stokking Gallery in The Hague, Netherlands have now been added to this website. This now brings together most of the works available. Happy hunting!