Marie Cummings

I was first inspired to create mixed media works on paper and illustration board after taking a workshop during which the instructor incorporated cutout paper dolls, the kind that children make, into her artwork.

Later, as I was in my studio working on a painting, I remembered the paper dolls and thought of own much I appreciate people, their unique and individual thoughts and feelings. We are not at all like paper dolls on the inside (though we may resemble each other on the outside) and yet, at the same time, we are all one. Pondering this paradox, I cut some paper dolls from a comic strip and collaged them into the first painting.

I see life as multi-faceted, richly textured and complex and my art reflects that perception. I paint with water media and use gesso, gel and tissue paper to create the textures on which I apply my paints in successive layers. I utilize unusual materials as stencils for the pigments – onion bags, cardboard, bubble wrap and stamps, among other things.

The artwork is contemplative in that it is derived from internal inspiration rather than tangible subject matter. There are no mistakes in my work – each painting is a process, a new experience from which I can learn. With each piece, I try to stretch myself beyond my comfort level and reach for the unknown.

Ultimately, I hope viewers feel this expressive freedom when they see my work. I want people to delight in the colors and whimsy, to experience a sense of happiness, to enjoy this reminder of what it means to be alive.

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