Free of Struggle, Full of Joy . . .
Marylou Falstreau’s mixed-Media Paintings
By Jenny Doh - Editor-in-Chief, Somerset Studio Magazine - July/August 2005 Issue
For over 15 years, Marylou Falstreau has been creating mixed-media paintings that celebrate the colors of life. She starts each piece with a simple drawing on paper or canvas and then begins blocking in color, pattern, and texture. “I use all kinds of materials including good quality acrylic paints, papers, gesso, molding paste, beads . . . and anything else that will get the job done,” she says. In the process of creating, Marylou is certain that she is breaking many rules and explains: “I don’t care what the rules are.”
“I very rarely ask someone how to use materials or read ‘how-to’ books. I like to explore and figure things out on my own.”
Marylou believes that figuring things out on one’s own is not always easy but it’s how an artist develops her unique style. She admits that when she was just starting out in this field, she was unsure of who she was as an artist. “I was impressed with people who could draw realistically and in perspective, and I tried hard to become that type of painter,” she says.
“After time, I learned what I could do well and eliminated everything else. My goal is that my paintings are free of struggle, that my weaknesses don’t show up painfully in my work, and that my style evolves and becomes uniquely my own.”
Aside from developing technical uniqueness as an artist, Marylou recognizes that artists undergo the development of messages and themes that become their specialized style. “I believe in many ways that we bring into our lives the things we focus on. That’s why I choose thoughtful or upbeat themes for my paintings,” she explains.
“Upbeat” is actually an understatement when it comes to Marylou’s paintings. As shown on these pages, her works are grand gestures of love and life where people, birds, sun, stars, and more all dance together to permeate its surroundings with utter joy.
As each painting is constructed, Marylou believes that there is a kindred spirit in the world in the form of a person who is meant to have the piece. “Sometimes it takes a few years for the person to show up, but they always do,” she says. These people, she explains are usually individuals unafraid of color and who like to make bright and colorful statements in their homes. “My paintings can also be spiritual, and people who share my beliefs recognize that and are drawn to them.”
Spring and fall are the seasons when kindred spirits usually meet up with Marylou’s paintings at art shows. “The winter months are spent painting, reevaluating and recuperating from the previous show season,” she says. It is a season when she takes long walks on the beach with her husband an best friend, Alan, to contemplate ideas and find new reasons to choose joy.
Marylou Falstreau lives in Morro Bay California.
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