Marti White

Born in: 1943, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA
Lives in: Mankato, Minnesota, USA
Describe your art in three words: Experimental, eclectic and colorful
Education: My art education has been primarily through many classes and workshops with a long list of very fine artists and mentors. I especially appreciate Cynthia Miller who introduced me to mixed media and Josh Goldberg who encouraged me to explore abstraction. My time with Andy Rush in the principles of drawing and Patricia Marohn in principles of design were key to my development as an artist.
Discipline: Painting, Mixed media, Collage
See More Work:

Early Winter Snow - Mixed Media/Collage 8 x 8 in.

"To express my inner thoughts and feelings through art has been important to me since I was a child. Communicating with those who see my work is a privilege. I hope the viewer finds their own story in the art and is touched in a personal way."

What themes does your work involve?
My work is eclectic. I began as a watercolorist in landscape and floral subjects. Mixed media, collage and acrylic painting moved me into less representational and more abstract thinking. Sometimes there is an underlying idea in abstract work and I hope that transfers to the viewer in a personal way and is not necessarily what I had in mind.
Describe your creative process.
I start with materials: medium, colors, substrate and so forth. I may start by just laying down some color and pushing it around until it begins to talk to me. Collage papers may be the impetus for an idea that takes form. Most projects go through several steps before the final product comes to being. I like to experiment with the "what ifs." What if I do this or that - will it change the direction the work is taking? If I can lose track of time and become lost in the creative pursuit, things happen.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Experimenting with different media and methods of applying paint or combining shapes is exciting to me. I enjoy making my own collage papers and then using them to build abstract works. I like to find vintage materials and discover how they can inform a new idea or bring new light on a present theme that may be repeating itself.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art is a different thing to different people. Even when and where you live will affect what is considered "good art." I believe what makes a piece of art great is the test of time. When art evokes a response in people who see it over and over again, when it speaks to many people even years after the artist has died, then it could be called great art, This, too, may be varied with the culture of the audience. So again, what is great art depends a lot on who is looking. The American or European viewer might be moved by a different thing than the Asian or African. However, with education, global appreciation is very possible.
What is the role of the artist today?
I am an artist because I have to be - without it, I am not all that I can be. The role of the artist in society today is to inform and enrich the world they live in. All the creative arts bring expression of culture and beauty to life. There is also a place for the artist to speak out to the situations that surround them. The times we live in today are changing almost hourly and so much is in a state of unrest and fear. Whether the artist speaks directly to the problems or brings light to the darkness, is up to the individual. Both are important.
Unmasking Reality - Mixed Media/Collage 10 x 10 in.
Savanna - Mixed Media/Collage 10 x 10 in.
Homeward - Mixed Media/Collage 10 x 10 in.
History Repeats Itself - Mixed Media/Collage 10 x 10 in.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist