Ruthie Marchand

Born in: 1993, United States

Lives in: Tucson, AZ, United States

Media: Painting

Describe your work in 3 words: Psychological, feminine, narrative

See More Work:

Spiraling - Oil on canvas 48 x 36 in.

"I am interested in the role of the figure and portrait in conveying a psychology with which the viewer can empathize. My subjects are immersed in introspection and situated in an environment reflective of their psyche."

What themes does your work involve?
My work revolves around the psychology of the female or feminine experience, with an emphasis on emotion, private spaces, daydreams, and sensuality.
Describe your creative process.
I photograph my references for larger studio paintings. Sometimes the photos are spontaneous, and other times I arrange formal photoshoots with people I know. I often collaborate with the model in considering the significance of their interaction with the environment or a prop. I read books to brainstorm how I can link the personal with the universal. Lately, I have been interested in how the interactions of multiple works in a series can depict concepts related to sequences or simultaneity.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Poetry, music, and literature influence my work when I am thinking about storytelling. Visually, I am also inspired by nature, the effects of lighting, and how an expression of a person's face can be infused with their personality. I make art because I derive satisfaction from creative problem-solving, the process of which is ever-changing. I also relish the painting medium and its full-bodied consistency and color, and how these qualities amplify the empirical experience of 2-D artwork.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
To me, good art is pleasing to the senses and demonstrates good craftsmanship. Great art can effectively manipulate (or break) the rules in order to convey the artist's unique perspective in a way that incites awe, inspiration, thought, or deep feeling.
What is the role of the artist today?
Art's role can be a purely sensual experience, which is a valuable end in itself. It can also spark discourse, and keep viewers in touch with their individual perspective and sense of taste when they are initially, and then retroactively, reacting to a work. (I am thinking of Clement Greenberg's writings.) This introspection will always be a human need. To me, art truly becomes art when it is put in the public eye for others to experience.

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