Those who are not conversant in works of art are often surprised at the high value set by connoisseurs on drawings which appear careless, and in every respect unfinished; but they are truly valuable... they give the idea of a whole.
- Sir Joshua Reynolds
We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.
- Anais Nin


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Brigid Marlin

Posted by Charley Parker at 10:28 am

Brigid Marlin
Visionary artist Brigid Marlin was born in Washington, D.C., studied in Dublin, Paris and New York, and now lives and works in London, England. She eventually travelled to Vienna, specifically to learn the Mische Technique, a painstaking Renaissance painting method in which an ink drawing and detailed egg tempera painting form a basis on which layers of oil glazes are built into the final image.

The particulars of this old master technique, once thought lost, were revived by visionary artist Ernst Fuchs. (See my recent posts on Robert Venosa and Martina Hoffmann.) Marlin has a step-by-step demonstration of the technique on her site.

The galleries on Marlin’s web site vary from straightforward portraits, painted in the Mische Technique, to Visionary Paintings to Fantasy Portraits, where the two approaches collide.

Even her straightforward portraits can’t help but have a touch of atmosphere that has drifted in from the other worlds that Marlin frequents, infusing them with a touch of secret strangeness, as in this beautiful portrait, Girl in Bluebell Wood.

Marlin has painted portraits of several notable individuals. She was chosen as the first artist to paint an official portrait of the Dalai Lama, for which there is a fascinating story accompanying the images of the painting on her site. Her portrait of J.G. Ballard, an admiring quote from whom forms the introduction to Marlin’s site, hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Unfortunately, Marlin’s own site may not be the best representation of her work. While there is a variety of her images, they are reproduced too small to get a good feeling for the detail and textural qualities of her work. (Though it’s worth noting that when in the gallery for Visionary Paintings, it’s easy to miss the text links at the top to galleries for two additional series of paintings.) There is a page of available giclee prints as well as a listing of available books.

I’ve listed below some other places on the web that you can see Marlin’s work. The largest reproductions I’ve found are on the Surrealism Now! site.

Brigid Marlin is also the founder of the Society for Art of the Imagination, the web site for which contains an extensive array of galleries of works by the society’s members, including a gallery Marlin’s work.

Though can see the bloodline of her visionary paintings reaching back through surrealist painters like Dali and Magritte (and perhaps even to Giorgio di Chirico), she becomes most intriguing for me when you can see her affection for Renaissance masters like Botticelli and the influence of underappreciated Surrealist greats like Paul Delvaux.

4 comments for Brigid Marlin »

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  1. Comment by Dan van Benthuysen
    Friday, August 24, 2007 @ 8:32 pm

    Imagine: Traveling half-way around the world for the opportunity to spend 40 minutes painting a portrait! The story and resulting experience is as remarkable as her paintings.

  2. Comment by sharka gley
    Wednesday, September 12, 2007 @ 1:02 am

    Hi. I am visionary artist and I would like to join your group. please let me know what is required. i like your work.
    if you will be emailing me back the typed above email is the correct one

  3. Comment by Charley Parker
    Wednesday, September 12, 2007 @ 8:14 am

    Brigid Marlin is unlikely to see your comment here. You need to find a way to contact her directly through her own site.

  4. Comment by guide
    Monday, November 2, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

    de, – Sunday, February 22, 2004 at 11:47:29 (PST)

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