Artist Interview with Marta Baricsa

Marta with Om natural green.

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 when painting. 

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 areas.

 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?! 

So, I 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 only what has been there. 

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 be."

"I am the founder of Directivism in art."
Marta Baricsa

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 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 energy."

with Om new light.                                                                       

For you, what the best thing about being a painter?

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 "50/50with 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!

Thanks for the interview Deb!