The Soul-stirring, Mesmerizing Art of Ann Marshall

I attend many art shows, meet with a wonderful selection of talented artists, and have an inbox overflowing with requests by artists and artisans for review of their work. From all those exposures, some truly artistic gems surface that capture my heart, soul and imagination. Ann Marshall is one of those creative finds whose artwork holds a powerful grip on my creative spirit. I’m delighted to share a few of my favorite collages and paintings from Ann’s collection with you today.

In the artist’s own words, she describes the inspiration and creative drive behind her hauntingly beautiful art work.

Beige portrait with gold tones by British artist Ann Marshall | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Beige: This is actually a portrait of a math specialist who works at a private school in Manhattan. For this work I wanted to do something a little more dramatic composition wise (the subject was completely game) and was inspired by early Hollywood Glamour shots. At a certain point I became so frustrated with the work’s progress, I angrily turned it to the wall and went on to other projects. I finally came back to it a few weeks later and easily finished it in two days.

Sometimes you just have to be patient.

Garden: This was a commission by the beautiful Kristen Bronson - artist Ann Marshall | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Garden: This was a commission by the beautiful Kristen Bronson (yes, she has all of those tattoos in real life). Kristen was a great client in that she trusts the artist to do what they will, but only asked that she be pictured with her little dog, Charlie. When I went for the shoot, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but Kristen, who is a quilter, has a pile of red tulle sitting in her bedroom. I fashioned a makeshift ball gown type skirt and the whole piece flowed from there.

Lauren: Lauren came to my studio wearing a simple white dress. Fine art portrait by Ann Marshall | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Lauren: Lauren came to my studio wearing a simple white dress. I hung a piece of blue satin behind her and borrowed a neighboring studio’s great antique chair. I tweaked the colors of her outfit to simplify the color scheme and went for a look that was classic and pleasantly languid. The tone in my work can vary greatly, but I evaluate the purpose of each piece and proceed accordingly. My fine art work can be a little more demented and moody, but with commissioned portraits I keep the purpose of the work in mind.

Sunshine and Molasses: Andrea's simple outfit and striking looks made a graphic solution - mixed media collage by Ann Marshall . | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Sunshine and Molasses: Andrea’s simple outfit and striking looks made a graphic solution the best one. I found this great yellow paper and collaged the floor to add a little color. The solution is both classic and modern and the subject’s colorful personality shows through.

Ann Marshall's mixed media art collage titled "Olivia". Haunting. Beautiful. Red. | The Decorating Diva, LLC

Olivia: If every piece could be as easy as Olivia was…I had just finished a project I really labored over (which frankly wasn’t so great) and Olivia was to be what I refer to as a “palette cleanser” piece –that is something quick just to do something quick to clear my head. I drew a picture of a curious little girl (she is no one in particular) and combined it with some great poppy patterned tissue paper I had bought months before, and the entire piece just popped immediately. Its one of the most popular things I’ve ever made.

About Ann Marshall

Ann Marshall modern art,  mixed media artist. | The Decorating Diva, LLCOne can say that art was a passion for Ann since early childhood. She tells us, “I have been drawing as long as I can remember. As a child, my artistic inspiration came mostly from cartoons and animation, and I used to get up early on Saturday mornings, fix myself a bowl of Life cereal, and settle down to hours of cartoons with my tool box full of crayons and black felt tip pen”.

After art school, Ann illustrated children’s books for a bit until coming to the conclusion that illustrating children’s books wasn’t a good fit. She wanted to pursue another artistic direction, and started building her portfolio, while at the same time maintaining a pragmatic view on how she was to fund her artistic dreams, Ann explains, “ I had a very tiny apartment and lived modestly. Meanwhile, to pay the bills I started traveling around the country (and sometimes outside) for a consumer research firm conducting on site studies of retail environments. This experience was invaluable, not so much for the exposure to consumer America (I grew disenchanted with that world), but because of the extensive travel to all parts of our country–good and bad.”  Ann has invaluable advice for artists of all ages, and one that may also apply to all career fields- definitely a resource to be bookmarked and referred to often.

As her portfolio grew, so did a following for her work, “I began to exhibit here and there and take on commissioned projects. I eventually had a small show at the Gallery at Lincoln Center ” she shares.  Her experience at the Lincoln Center exhibit proved pivotal, as Ann confides ”[the] experience proved so professionally rewarding, I felt like I had finally found my calling.”

Ann goes on to say, “with my current work, I try to combine contemporary and traditional means of working to produce work that is both compelling and relevant to the viewer. Otherwise, I live modestly with my boyfriend and our two cats and make art, ride my bike, and enjoy everything my beautiful city has to offer.”

Ann will have her artwork on exhibit (part of a group exhibition) at the London Miles Gallery from November 12th to December 6th 2010- details below:

Exhibition Title: The Idol Hours

Westborne Studios
242 Acklam Road, Studio 303
W10 5JJ U.K.
(44) 020 317 08618