Manifesto 2

Sept 2021
ARTIST STATEMENT:
Marelle is investigating two creative veins. The first is an investigation inspired by feminism, goddesses, and video game characters. Reconciling her Catholic upbringing, Marelle has chosen to reject the patriarchal deities, and is searching throughout history and cultures for femme goddesses. They tend to make themselves known, especially on the internet. Plugged in long before Y2K, she recalls the gender-limited choices she had in Fairfax County, Virginia, in the 1990’s, selecting video and computer game characters. Disgruntled with the lack of proportional gender representation in gaming, she is not surprised to see the resulting patriarchal rape culture that exists among adult gamers. It also exists in the Catholic Church, as it wages war on abortion, the most important safeguard of the liberation of the physically fertile human being.

In 2021, Marelle looks to set the record straight with proportional focus on “non-male” deities. And although Marelle is a gender abolitionist at heart, she feels there is room to amp up the “female” construction. She describes this present body of work as having the aesthetic energy of religious prayer cards meets tarot deck meets Pokémon and X-Men trading cards, but with added shimmer. Marelle situates herself as a colonizer, examining and studying other cultures. Sensitive to this circumstance, she acknowledges a guilty pleasure in the ease she is able to research and drink in other cultures: rich in tech, and fluent in English.

The second pursuit is the Synesthesia Project. You can read about it here.

BIOGRAPHY:
Marelle, the higher self of one badjujumonger, is a teacher and artist who currently resides in Woodbridge, Virginia. She is a graduate, post-graduate, and re-certification graduate of the University of Virginia Education program. and a proud queer alumnae of Georgetown Visitation. She is a 2x NCAA Champion of Women’s Rowing with a slammin’ bod. She thinks she is hilarious, curates Spotify playlists, and continues to wade through the muck of the human incarnation experience. Always grammatically and lexically inclined, they also gladly welcome the use (or dis-use) of pronouns that encourage gender abolition.

Winter is Coming

I vow to only shoot my paintings in the dark with a cellphone flash

Capricorn Venus & Sagittarius Mars
2021

Hands

Synesthesia #12 Left Right
2021

Collage

Painting feels orb-like. It is a soft act, impressionistic, ethereal, and offers glimpses into another realm. But collage is punchy, precise, clean and contemporary. In comparison to painting, it is my artistic battleaxe: capable of rapid journalistic exposition, commentary, or- as I am critical af- critique. It is fast and explosive creation – a “quickie.” I take much delight in collage. They also photograph deliciously (versus paintings, painfully).

Macho 2021
Sic Semper Tyrannis / I’m a Free Bitch, Baby
2021
This is a collage of calendars. If you love me, buy me calendars or buy my calendar. Boris Vallejo / Julie Bell collage with a lovely Roma Vatican getting yeeted.
“Whores”
shown at Dc DaDa Art @ Rhizome DC
2020 / NFS
Another shot of Whores. Oil, magazine, earring. NFS
The Lotus Eaters / Meditations on Race
2020
NFS

The Parisian Collages

[Story] I was engaged in Paris – my first time visiting there. The phone I had at the time was dropped in the Potomac river during rowing practice (I coached for a while). This was before ubiquitous file syncing- or at least before I did it anyway. The only photos I have were the ones I uploaded to Instagram. Luckily I upload a lot – but of course, still, 100s of photos were lost. The colors I feel are represented in the Parisian Collages.

These were the first artworks I made after moving from Washington, leaving the studio, etc, in the #shitshow that was 2020. I found the colors quite faithful to my uploaded Instagram images. The photographs used in the collage were taken by my uncle, who was present, with my aunt, at my engagement.

She Threw Her Entire Drink at Him
Photographs I took in Paris
Photographs I took in Paris
The Parisian Collages 2020 (on two backgrounds)
This is the 4th Parisian Collage

Wear a Helmet pt 1 and 2

The first collage I did likely in 2016 – apologies this is a screenshot. NFS
Wear a Helmet pt 2

Thank you for looking at these things I’ve made.

Shop updates coming in September 2021.

Shop Update June 2021

…is live!

Since moving to Woodbridge, I have had a lot of time to spend moving and sitting with my artwork. I have hung my own work in bedrooms, dining rooms, and at the top of the stairs. I have let the works speak with each other and with me. They tell me where they belong, and where they want to go.

I often wonder about musicians. Do they have the name of the album with its architecture in mind first, or do they write a few dozen songs and then the album forms from the curated collection. I find, with experience, my painting is becoming more of the former, and less of the latter. Thank goodness. We need structure and discipline in the arts, too.

The number one thing you can do to support me and my future as an artist is buy one of these works. This June shop update reflects paintings that have been made between 2019-2021 that are no longer part of the albums I am recording. (Okay, well, one is, but “Moon” just looks so darn good in her little white frame, I want her to be in someone’s home now!)

I would love to hear your questions and comments, so please reach out.

With Gratitude,

Marelle

Quarantine Newsprints

The weekend of DC’s first quarantine lockdown was the weekend of my second group art show in the city. Within the month I made the painful decision to evacuate my 100sq ft art studio of four years in Takoma (DC Arts Studios). My determination to forge an art career, the money spent… It all felt like I was being forced to give up.

Caged in an over-crowded economy apartment, now featuring the additional furniture and supplies of my studio as well, I quickly began to yearn for and crave the ability to stretch my arms over my head and work beyond the scale of a tabletop. But, my home, my apartment had only ever been a creative space for writing in my journal, and it certainly was not a feasible space for oil painting.

The resulting collection of newsprints were created, usually in threes, on hands and knees, an area rug by our kitchenette and then taped to the walls of our foyer area for a week or so. They are mostly pastels but other mediums make appearances. They contain lists, symbols, and feelings of hope during the simultaneous chaos and stillness between April to August 2020.

At the end of August, we left the apartment and we left the city. The loss of my studio intensified my desire to “be” an artist, my determination to share art with the world, and the pressure to create “no matter what” deepened my resolve. Creating these messages brought me safety and brought me home.

The video below was originally intended for instagram but was not successfully published there because of the sick, sick beats I chose to play while I was going through the works, which belong to sony music and not to the world. I also recognize the resolution is low and you can’t read a lot of the text on the works. And, (one last disclaimer!) I am not a huge fan of my improvised commentary so feel free to watch it on mute. Or, if you’re a fan of the tunes, check out my curations on spotify.

These are all available for purchase for $15 per newsprint + shipping, so hit that screenshot or get in touch with me if you see something you like.

Video (<10 min):

Quarantine Newsprints
Recorded on December 30, 2020
Woodbridge VA

Perseverance

Slow growth! Here are four works I made in the last quarter of 2020. It’s a cloudy day and I just love having paintings side by side on display for photos. It really helps me view my own work in a constructive way. The largest one here is 18×24” and the smallest is 9×12” so it is a bit of a chore to get a photo like this! We made it to the nadir of darkness – midwinter – solstice solace! It is easy to take our own progress for granted. These are all trees on Powhatan / Algonquian / Doeg lands. The top right is acrylic, the rest are oil.

No Calendar This Year

First of all, thank you to the new blog followers! Since I am new to WordPress in general, it really tickles me to know that people would stumble on this website and want to subscribe to my updates. Thank you!

My, my, my…. Last Friday marked the time I began calendar sales for 2020, and I remember being so happy as orders began to roll in and I created a book of work from my years in the studio at DCAS. It was the first real showcase of my identity as an artist, my direction, my style, and so on. The experience, the sales, the publication itself was so important and validating. At the time, I would have never guessed the situation I’d be in today.

My little world has faced a lot of loss this year. I want to so badly jam a few photographs onto a website and call it a “calendar” – but the reality is I am not able to create a cohesive set of twelve (thirteen with the cover) works. This year, I have had irons in a lot of different fires. I am working with no functional studio space, and I am living during a pandemic. I have limited access to a vehicle. It is true that I have produced a handful of plein air works this year, but it is nowhere near enough to fill a calendar and not reuse some of the material from 2020’s print. I could, alternatively, throw in a mix of political art, inktober works, and the other treasures I have created this year – but that does not satisfy my pride or ego in the least.

I am applying to local things, here and there. My days are filled with considerations and possibilities. I want to travel, learn, and take bigger steps in bigger spaces. I want instruction and competition.

Here is a simple collage of works. It is a good way to look at what styles are emerging in my paintings, but it really is such a small fraction of what I have actually done. I guess this represents the “serious stuff.” Eyeroll! My soul is pushing in other directions, too, that are a little more fiesty than what you see in these pretty pictures.

Well, if no calendar, I guess I can always mail out some post cards. Or you can just save the picture and print your own.

Trees

Dendrites & Dryads!

What can I say, I really dig being among the trees. They are historians, ancestors, medicine, shelter, and so much more. But, they are in danger and my heart breaks as we continue to deforest and clear land even into 2020, while so many homes, buildings, and even cities sit vacant.

Please send inquiries about paintings to marellemushroom at gmail dot com.

Thank you for looking!
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