Scribble Artist Interview with María Schön!
Scribble Town (ST): Our experiences shape who we are. The colors and movement in María Schön’s paintings seem to be a result of a curiosity for adventure and understanding relationships of all kinds. We are excited to learn more about you, María!
María Schön (MS): Ever since I was a little kid, I liked to paint imaginary landscapes that depicted beautiful sunsets, mountains, trees, flowers, clouds and the ocean. I loved rendering these landscapes with vivid colors and textures.
Drawing and painting was not only a comforting and happy way to spend my time, but it was also a language that I used to communicate something beautiful to others. Language and speaking with others was not easy for me. When I was five years old, my parents moved our family from the United States to live in the beautiful country of Venezuela. I remember my first day of school in Venezuela. — it was first grade, and I was shy and did not know a word of Spanish. But I knew how to say something about myself through my drawings and paintings. I remember my teacher and classmates all standing around me as I sat at my desk drawing a picture from memory of me and my family building a snow man in the snow. They were amazed by my art. At the age of 10 my parents moved me, my brother and sister back to the United States.
ST: You found your own language and communicated it so well!
Congratulations on your current exhibition! Please let us know where it is and what the exhibition is about. Seeing your paintings in real life would be wonderful.
MS: At the age of 14, my school art teacher was so impressed with my paintings that she contacted a local art gallery and they decided to exhibit my paintings along side accomplished adult artist.This experience made me realize that I had a talent and had something that was special and worth developing further. As I grew, I continued to draw and paint as a way to communicate and to share my ideas with others. The more I worked at my drawing and painting, the better and more accomplished my art work became.
This past November, I had a one woman art exhibit at an art gallery in my town called Monika Olko. This month, four of my paintings and drawings from my “Landscape and Memories” series and “Tropical Elements” Series, are currently on exhibit with artSolar Gallery in East Hampton, New York.
ST: Your art school teacher saw something in you and really nurtured it. How special it is to have somebody in our life like that.
How did you come up with your choice of shapes and colors for your Landscape and Memories painting series? And for your drawing series of Tropical Elements, I wonder which tropics. Perhaps from Venezuela? Any other info about your themes would be nice to hear.
MS: My paintings are inspired by childhood memories of the colors, shapes and textures of the beautiful landscapes of Venezuela. I use my imagination and memory to invent each new painting.
ST: Your childhood sounds pretty magical, as do your paintings seem to match. Where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create? Or what gets you inspired?
MS: I love music. It transports me to a place where ideas and feelings flow — where colors become shapes, and shapes become colors — like a dance.
I also love to visit art galleries and museums, to see and be inspired by the art work of order artists. If their art works inspire me, you can say that their art has communicated something special that makes me want to create something in response. Art is a form of language — a kind of never ending conversation.
ST: The playfulness is so apparent in your works! I get the sense that color theory is a very strong and important part of your art. What is your process for color and shape combination?
MS: My paintings begin with many pencil drawings to help me develop ideas for images and compositions that I like. Using an art projector, I then project, enlarge and line draw these images onto my painting canvas. From this enlarged projected drawing, I begin to fill in large areas with colors of paint. Each area in the painting will need many different layers of colored paint to render a shape.
ST: You have studied film. Do you still make movies? In some ways I feel set direction or a stage when I look at your paintings. They are so strong that they give a presence for how the scene should continue. How does your painting and film career support each other?
MS: My experience with film has taught me how to tell a visual story not just through one painting, but through a group of paintings, one next to another — like the pages of a story book that are turned — from one page to the next — to tell a story.
ST: Yes, I see the narrative even within each picture frame. Who are some artists or filmmakers that you like? What draws you to them?
MS: I have always been deeply inspired the the art works of Henri Matisse, Edward Hopper and Richard Diebenkorn! All three artist — and especially Henri Matissse — used vibrant color and playful shapes to create beautiful and amazing paintings!
I like the way that Edward Hopper used color and dark and light shadows to communicate how light falls on an object. Richard Diebenkorn was a California artist that painted paintings about the beach and the many colors of the sea. I like the way he used color, shape and texture to communicate the idea of water. His paintings always communicate something that inspires me to respond with my own story in my paintings.
ST: Thank you María for being with us! Keep on doing what you do because it is making us all appreciate even more the light and color around us! You allow us to see in a different way.