We had the good fortune of connecting with Velvet Marshall and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Velvet, what do you love most about your work?
Whether I’m creating a painting or a conceptual art piece, it’s not the image that I think of principal importance. I feel it is the paint itself that is my subject matter. The medium is the message. I love thinking of ways in which I can combine common materials to express my thoughts and feelings through the action of art and utilizing that medium to communicate a greater thought; that our refusal to accept being human, which soon kills compassion, is tantamount to most of the worlds troubles. Ever been driving down the road when all of a sudden, you hear one of your favorite tunes on the radio and started singing along? Perhaps, at some point later, you discovered the artist lyrics were completely different from the words you belted out vibrato in the car but you still love to sing along with your own version of the lyrics because of what the words meant to you personally? That’s exactly what I love about conceptual art and abstract painting.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Everyone in my family are artist so art has always been a way of life for me. Just as the son of a mechanic may become a mechanic himself, the same it is with an artist. It’s a learned trade or craftsmanship. I took it for granted when I was younger. I think the best lesson I learned was to embrace it, accept who I was. As a parent, I’ve tried to pass this onto my daughter. To live life without judgement and with acceptance and love. I specialize in large scale, abstract oil and roofing tar paintings. My abstract paintings are usually created with a visual context involved and begun traditionally with an under painted image. I then slowly build up the painting utilizing classical Flemish and Old Master techniques until the original image underneath becomes almost completely obscure, employing recurring motion of biorhythms in the paint to predict various aspects of experiences in life. As a final glazing medium, I then apply roofing tar, mixed with linseed oil. The results are very textured and sensitive to luminosity, like people, the perspective of the painting changes in various degrees of lighting. Currently, since most art supply stores are closed and local hardware stores are overwhelmed with long lines, I’ve been experimenting with common mediums I have found around the house like egg shells, ash and wax. It feels right for the work. I’m most proud of the moment my daughter and I stood together at one of my exhibits in front of the painting I made for her, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Not only on a professional level but also on a personal one. I understood there was a way for me to be free. A place where I could go and allow the paint to speak for me- the things for which I had no words.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
As a matter of fact, I love entertaining and cooking for friends. My best friend from childhood who lives in Arizona, plans to come for a visit once it’s safe to travel. Since the covid19 lockdown, my boyfriend Chris, and I have been spending a lot more time at home cooking, decorating and gardening and I’m looking forward to entertaining friends again out on our deck. One year, we had a group of our friends dress up as Frida and Diego and everyone painted inside my studio. It was a blast! We live in Topanga and Chris is always ready to take a group of friends up for a nature hike or to the beach to see the sites. I’m usually the one that will lead the group for local shopping at “Bouboulina” a quaint clothing boutique and “Topanga Canyon Art Gallery”. We also have a fabulous Farmer’s Market on Friday’s for fresh produce. Mornings would begin with a visit to “Café Mimosa”, my favorite little coffee haunt in the canyon. Lastly, a week’s visit would have to include a day trip to “Topanga Days”, an annual day festival and celebration of everything that is Topanga here in the canyon. One things for sure, when my friends come over to visit we’ll definitely spend some time painting together.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d love to SHOUT-OUT to: Gloria Plascencia, Roy Stone, Shannon Colburn and Leila Bick 💋
All photos courtesy of Velvet Marshall Fine Art