This blog starts out with a long overdue thank you to large scale painter and ARC artists in residence Marta Baricsa who very kindly had my most recent Body of Work six week workshop class into her home and studio to tell us a little bit about her process and share with us several of her bodies of work. Marta, Thank you so much for having us all over!
Marta with my workshop students, showing them her portfolio
My first burning question is about the title under you
bio of "Founder of Directivism in art"
I've never heard of directivism and would love to know what this is and how you
came to found it and other artists that follow this...
After painting for many years I came to
notice that my works and the way I was doing my works were different than much
of what I had seen and had been taught about in school.
While all forms of
creation are great I realized what some of the key differences for me were
I knew that and was taught to cover my mistakes but I never did
very well at hiding them. I also realized I wasn't making any "mistakes"... i.e I
wasn't correcting anything in my work. And I wasn't building a surface and
removing it to discover what I had put down previously mixed with what was
fresh. And I wasn't building layer upon layer upon layer and covering up previous
Like I said not that there is anything wrong with that. Because there
are lots of incredible artists doing paintings just that like that....but I
just noticed my way was very different. I became outrageously confident in
the marks I make and let what is there be there. It is like I am just allowing
what is meant to be flow through me and how dare I be the judge of it?!
welcome the energy that is to be and I surrender myself to it. Basically if you
x-rayed my paintings you would see what is there....is only what has been
Plus Directivism is also about a visual clarity. It is direct and to the
point without being controlled. It is a point where I am conscious
but have left the controlling logical mind behind. Those little
voices saying...."change this" or "that doesn't
look right" don't exist for me anymore. That is Directivism. While
there aren't other artists I know of following this way of working....I can
identify Directivist works. For example my partner Roy Mackey made a steel man
called "naked man" which he literally built out of air. There is no
armature, no building upon, removing....and his works have a real focus to
them- so I would have to say he also is a Directivist for the most part.
"I consider myself a Directivist
and I paint with deliberate intent.
The works are direct fluid movement that
stem immediately from a source.
They can be linear or sculptural -
concrete or random in composition.
I use minimal brushwork and the purist
clean, clear paint.
Done with no corrections and only over
painting where it is intended.
Because it is exact as it is meant to
"I am the founder of Directivism in
Carbon line. 2006. Ink on primed canvas.
12 x 24"
Going back a bit here, can you please
tell us how did you passion for painting began?
My earliest memory is from
kindergarten....having my hands in the paint and the exhilarated feeling of joy
I felt - I knew from that moment what I was going to do in life is paint. As a
teenager I attended Central Technical Schools art program and then later
went to OCAD where I graduated from the department of experimental arts.
Have you ever had other jobs or passions
or have you been a painter since graduating high school until now?
Yes, I have had other jobs some I was
even passionate about! ...mainly relating to energy & movement based work.
I taught, trained people in fitness, aquatics, stretching and swimming etc. I
also was a Certified Fitness Consultant and performed fitness tests and made
training programs for individuals. I also ran my own CPR & first aid
business in Toronto & Vancouver. I trained - retrained and certified
doctors, dentists and fitness professionals in CPR. While I enjoyed much of
this I always felt painting was my main passion.
What's your favourite all time favourite
art piece of yours and why?
That is quite difficult for me to
say....I have many favourites. But I will
include "Apollo" which I dedicated to my Mom.
Marta with Apollo
What's your favourite all time favourite
art piece of another artist and why?
That is a hard one Deb. While I love many works of art I would have to say my partner Roy Mackey's
"Flame Chair" stands out. Roy is an extraordinary artist and human
being. His work is so new and creative. See www.flamingsteel.com for more on his work.
Can you please tell us the body of work
you are currently working on and what inspired this series?
I am working on my Om paintings. They
are focus meditation paintings. They are about clarity, focus of thought and
being present. With many things that pull our attention these days it is my
desire that these paintings help bring people back to a sense of awe and Om.
Here is a section I clipped from
Wikipedia on Om which I find helps describe these works:
"Hindus believe that as creation
began, the divine, all-encompassing consciousness took the form of the first
and original vibration manifesting as sound "OM" before creation
began it was "Shunyākāsha", the emptiness or the void. Shunyākāsha,
meaning literally "no sky", is more than nothingness, because
everything then existed in a latent state of potentiality. The vibration of
"OM" symbolizes the manifestation of God in form ("sāguna
brahman"). "OM" is the reflection of the absolute reality, it is
said to be "Adi Anadi", without beginning or the end and embracing
all that exists The mantra "OM" is the name of God, the vibration of
the Supreme. When taken letter by letter, A-U-M represents the divine
with Om new
For you, what the best thing about being
Loving what I do. The
freedom.... so many new ideas to explore....the paint itself,
the colours, the confidence I have when I have a paint brush in my hands. The
excitement and the magic of the paint becoming what it is meant to be....and my
hand in helping it become that. It is great feeling.
For you, what 's the most challenging
thing about being a a painter?
Wanting to have more steady
income. Believing more in myself.....while I believe fully in the art and
my process....I would like to feel the same about myself.
How would you define success for
yourself as an artist? What are some success you have achieved thus far on your
journey, and what has been a key factor in you achieving your success?
Wow! Well, the success of making the
work very passionately is really key for me otherwise I think I would have to
say I am a complete failure in all the other normal factors of a successful
"career". Having a loving and supportive partner that helps and
a caring family. Also hearing back from museum curators and gallery dealers
mainly in the US that are all very positive and encouraging helps me stay on
track. Selling paintings to clients is important too. Plus I am very
fortunate to have had so much exposure in the movies and TV shows.
Another success and actually quite a
challenge was painting "Aequilibrium" a 27 x 20 foot
tetraptych. Which I made just because I had a vision of it in my
mind. My good friend, Rachel Berman, who is an incredible artist had
just given me a huge bolt of canvas as a gift. And I knew I wanted to make
something memorable with it.
Talking about success I noticed that you
have many of your paintings in movies. I am curious how was your work found to
be placed in these movies?
That is a bit of a long story...but
basically my first rental was around 11 years ago a set decorator bought some
small works of mine she saw at a store. That was the movie "Life or something like it" with Angelina Jolie.
Then "Catwoman" with
Halle Berry was going to being shot here in Vancouver. The production crews
were going around the buildings with artists in them and they came upon the ARC
building and put up a posting. They came in our studio and saw my works. They
rented one painting and were looking for another painting to cover over a
mirror and had asked me if I had something that would work. I went down to
the set to have a look and then painted something specific for the
movie. Later they were looking for many large paintings for
the scene in Sharon Stone's mansion. I think they rented around 7-8 large
paintings of mine for this movie. Carol, the set decorator really gave me a
great opportunity. Not only did I get great exposure in the film....they also
paid me very well.
Then I heard from my neighbours who
worked in the movie industry about the BC film commission list. So I began
mailing off packages to the productions. Since then I have been in nearly
20 movie /TV productions. Most recently my paintings are in "This Means War" with Reese Witherspoon and also in "50/50" with
Seth Rogen....where he actually says a few words about my paintings.
What recent or upcoming shows/and or
gallery representation can readers look out for or go and see of your work?
Some of my paintings can be seen in the
Art Rental and Sales program at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Or come to one of
our open studios which I post on my website and of course private studio
visits can also be booked also.
Marta, Thank you for taking the time to
partake in this interview!