'Ask the Artist' is an interactive way to connect with artists represented by Quirky Fox. Every second Friday we reveal who our new interviewee is on our social media platforms and encourage you to ask any questions you might have of the featured artist. This information is published to our blog the following Friday.
Our first 'Ask the Artist' features Meredith Marsone:
Do you usually listen to music while working, and if so, what are the most common tracks or genres you listen to?
I don’t often listen to music while I’m working. That’s reserved for the car where I can sing loudly by myself!
Usually, I start working listening to a podcast. I love a huge range but I typically gravitate towards anything about human psychology or spirituality, that’s educational and motivational. My go to’s are Tim Ferris, Ram Dass, The Drive with Peter Attia, Making Sense with Sam Harris, and the Psychology Podcast.
I know it’s time to turn it off and work in silence when I catch myself actively trying to tune it out! Sometimes flow needs silence.
Your Art; Is it an internal instinct of visions you see in your mind when you lay the brush down on the canvas or is it a calculated idea at the time you begin? Your such a prolific artist.
There’s something I don’t like about the word ‘calculated’ because I think it implies a lack of intuition and freedom. But actually planning can allow for freedom because having too many decisions to make can be overwhelming and create so much resistance you may not even start!
(So) I do a lot of planning prior to taking up my brush. It usually involves a photoshoot (or at least a photo reference) and a play around in photoshop.
Lately, my process has begun with intuitively ‘doodling’ flowers and plants in gold or silver to lay down a background. This I do holding an intention of what I’d like to imbue in the imagery. Most often that’s been about our connection to nature.
The execution of the painting is a process of combining flow and knowledge. If you don’t have a skill base (knowledge), flow can’t happen. You’ll hit a brick wall of frustration not being able to create what’s in your mind’s eye. We all experience this early in our careers as we’re learning and honing our skills. But, if you only have skills and don’t enter a flow state, you won’t access your intuition as freely and your work could appear stilted or contrived.
How do you achieve flow state?
You have to answer that one for yourself. For me, painting is a form of meditation. I know I’m in flow when my thinking mind falls to the background. It’s still doing its thing, perhaps quietly thinking about this or that. But mostly those thoughts aren’t intrusive and I can get into a state where painting feels largely effortless. It takes practice. Just like anything you want to be good at. But it is so worth it.
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