She described her “young and carefree decision” at 18 to become an art major. Her studies included a wide range of subjects, from painting and weaving to jewelry and sculpture. But painting was her love.
After completing her studies she became a teacher and spent 26 years sharing that love of art with her students. When she retired she decided to focus on her painting. This exhibit features some of the work she has done in the Sonoran Desert and is quite different from the colors and subjects she paints during her summers in Washington.
Unlike some painters who work directly on the canvas or board that will form the finished piece, Marilyn says she starts with a sketch so she can plan the composition. This is usually followed by a value study, done in black and white. Next is a little thumbnail painting to see if her ideas actually work. Finally, she develops the actual painting.
If it sounds like a lot of work, it is. She says she likes the challenge, the exploration of some aspect of the work, some technique or color.
“Changes can happen at each stage and some stages, even some parts of a stage may be repeated over several times,” she says.
You can view Marilyn’s work all this month during library hours.
Painting by Marilyn Jackson
Marilyn explains the stories behind her work.
Several people stayed after the talk to ask questions.
I took this photo at our local farmers’ market last summer. All our booths are outdoors so it’s not unusual for some of the local wild life to visit. This lovely golden dragonfly paused on one of my beaded necklaces, casting shadows as it soaked up the early morning sun.
Ajo is an interesting art community — a blend of artists who live here full time and artists who spend the winter months here as snowbirds. Many of those winter visitors have headed home and others are getting ready to depart.
How do you keep members of such a community in touch with each other?
Last year, artist Marilyn Jackson started a virtual art group to encourage artists to produce and share their work over the summer months. She’s kicking it off again this year.
Marilyn writes: “The April challenge is ‘Family.’ Of course this could mean anything from pets to a family of colors — artists are encouraged to think outside of the normal response. After all, we are artists!”
This challenge is open to all artists, in any medium. You don’t have to belong to the Desert Artist Guild, or even live in Ajo. We’d like to see what you’re working on.
I’ll start it off with a “family” of mammilaria cacti. These cacti are quite small and usually hidden beneath other plants — but their bright red fruit is an eye-catcher.
Use the Contact Form for info on how to submit your entry. Deadline for this month is April 30. Let us see what you’re creating! 🙂
The annual Christmas Art Show & Sale at the Plaza Gallery opened in Ajo last Friday — and by all accounts it was a lot of fun.
I visited the show today and was impressed by the work. Several artists surprised me with the new directions they’re taking with their art. It’s well worth a visit.
Here are a few of the pieces featured in this year’s show. Also, don’t forget to check out the display case just inside Art Stop — it features small items that are also part of the show, including some gorgeous jewelry by Mari Zimmermann.
It’s always fun to see what Marilyn has been working on. Here is her latest submission.
She writes: “A rainy Sunday here. Can you believe it’s almost September! At last I’m sending a harvest painting to you. These are heritage tomatoes from Ajo. We got them at a Saturday market just before John left for Washington. They survived and are producing nice tomatoes daily now. The lavender grows like a weed here so it’s part of the harvest too.”
And now it is September. What challenge shall we use for this, the ninth month of our calendar?
Here is the first entry in April’s Challenge — it’s from Marilyn Jackson. The theme this month is “3” — however you interpret that.
Marilyn writes: “I had just the two onions in the foreground, and the composition called out for three! I feel the jar is part of the background. It was fun to paint. I’m working through a book on classical drawing and the jar was an assignment I gave myself, so I decided to paint it after I’d done the drawing.”
If you’d like to enter this month’s challenge, simply incorporate the idea of “3” into your work — use the Contact Form to request information on how to submit your entry.