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May 2011 Show Preview: Artist Interview with Marianne Bland

May 10, 2011

May 2011 Artist Marianne Bland!

REVEL: How did art first enter your life?

MARIANNE BLAND: I’m sure everyone has the same answer. I’ve been drawing since as long as I could remember. Entry into professional art was when I was 16 , I got a business license to paint murals with my friend.

Do you remember the first mural?

It was a residential mural, we did mostly living rooms, kids rooms. We did that for a long time, she recently moved to Hawaii, culminating with a mural of the history of transportation for San Bruno, kids rooms to city projects!
How did you get involved with the mural for San Bruno?

There was a call for public artists, and we submitted. I was attending the CCA, a private art school, it’s very much a hippie artist vibe, follow your dreams, but not so much of the business side of art which is really, really important for people. I was looking for higher painting opportunities, ways to branch out.  It’s like being a comedian or actress, figuring out what you can do to try to make money some of the time to support doing what you love.

On your blog you document something called Art Project 2010, a challenge to yourself to create a piece of art every day for an entire year, could you talk about that experience?

If you have a full-time job it’s hard to feel creative and make stuff often, and if you don’t make a lot of pieces you can’t sell a lot of pieces, that’s the main challenge facing any contemporary artist. The blog was a cool experience because I challenged myself do something every day, and the blog allowed people to see if it would work or be an epic failure. The blog also let me branch out to other things like making how-tos on The internet is really an amazing place.


What mediums do you work with, is their a favorite?

I’m a painter, studied painting and drawing at CCA, and use acrylics more than anything, it allows me to work fast, it drys fast. I got a lot more into mixed media lately, I work the thrift store and find paper things, sewing patterns, older books anything arcane or weird and use those to create what I call mixed media abstracts. I tend to gather materials and start looking through them so a theme or idea can present themselves, it’s interesting to work that way, those pieces are more emotional and more of a platform for socio-political.

What inspires you?

I almost always paint in San Francisco, it’s a city that has a strong presence, so many interesting people and lives have lived there, you can really sense that in a building. I tend to focus not so much on architecture, but more of a scene that has a mood, it allows me to cherish a moment. I take inspiration from everywhere, I see things as painting, I carry notebooks, and I will constantly be writing things I may use. By meeting people, seeing other peoples art, even a red finch in my backyard.

Between 2

I noticed that some of your mixed media abstracts incorporate specific art from the Mid-20th Century, is that a commentary on gender or other social issues?

I feel like the 50’s are realy exemplary as a time of naivete but also extreme social constraints. If people were gay bit or transgendered, there were no options, there was no option for women who wanted careers. An exemplary time of social backwardsness. When we look back at those times today there are so many things we should have learned and grown from. I’m drawn to that time to use as a  a parallel to how we should still be working to move past that now, a lot of it is still there, even if we think we have moved beyond.

What’s your ideal Saturday?

Some studio time, gosh I would love a quiche! My favorite days are rainy days, maybe a little bit of sangria in the afternoon with a book and the puppy, reading a little bit of Bukowski or checking out other people’s art…I absolutely love to see new art.

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