Our introduction to painter Marlene Wildeman was certainly intentional when we looked for a place to hang our hats for the night in Kamloops, B.C. through the international Couchsurfing organization, but was purely coincidental as an artist that we could interview for our travel blog. It was a great package deal! Not only did Marlene welcome us into her home as a gracious and hospitable host, but she also happened to be an accomplished painter who had some of her paintings on display at Thomas Cook Travel agency in preparation for this year’s Artwalk.
After a bite to eat at Marlene’s favourite pub downtown and while walking back to her condo we were starting to get a feel for Marlene’s adventurous spirit (she traveled for a month through Tennessee while Couchsurfing at ten different homes!). That joie de vivre also coincides with what she regards as a rebellious side when it comes to abiding by the mainstream ideas about painting protocol within the workshops she attended and having to go along with her teacher’s curriculum. I’m sure as a former highschool French and English teacher interacting with “rebellious” but yet creative students, Marlene can relate to the search (fight?) for true individual creative expression.
This incursion for Marlene in her artwork seems to be a balance between adhering to the tried and true skills imparted by her art teachers, and the courage to strike out on her own path of discovery, fuelled by a creative energy, and to “see what happens.” We can see and feel that energy within Marlene and is evident in one of her series of paintings titled, “Upsetting The Order”; four paintings of birch trees painted in the four seasons with the age lines of the trees defined by written prose poems. Very original! Very courageous! I have never seen a fusion of the visual and literary arts such as Marlene has created with these pieces shown below:
Click on the thumbnails below for a grander view of Marlene’s work:
Stick around as we hear more from Marlene in her interview with us below:
Please feel free to leave a comment as well!