This month’s Featured Artist Marty Le Messurier describes how the Native American culture has influenced her oil painting.
Medium: Painting, oil
Gallery: Celebration of Fine Art through March 23; and studio open by appointment
City of Residence: Cave Creek
Currently showing: The Celebration of Fine Art
How did you get started as an artist?
I had a teacher in high school that was very encouraging and told my parents I had some real talent. I decided to go to art school and attended the Moore College of Art in Philadelphia.
Where do you find inspiration?
I just love the Native American culture. Besides the Southwest I paint places I visit. There’s a lot of Mediterranean influence, like Greece and Paris.
How does living in Arizona influence your art?
Being immersed in the Native American culture really influences my art. I love carrying on the tradition. I’ve had Native Americans approach me and thank me for painting their artwork because a lot of the young people aren’t carrying on the native traditions.
Favorite Arizona getaway or adventure:
Anywhere where it is cool in the summer! Often times we will go to Show Low and Alpine because my husband likes to fish and I love to paint the scenery.
I live in Arizona because…
When I go out of state and I fly black, and I see the Grand Canyon and our mountains, I just feel at home. I have no desire to live anywhere else.
How would you describe Arizona to someone who has never been here before?
It is a different culture. It really truly is. You have the Hispanic, the white and the Native American cultures that sort of all blend together. It is a unique place.
How has your art changed since you started the Celebration of Fine Art?
I used to paint in water color, believe it or not. But people out here have so many big windows in their houses, they didn’t want artwork that was best displayed under glass. So I started to varnish the water colors, but it still didn’t seem to work. I wanted to add more texture to the art, because I like to create pieces that make people feel like the subject matter is really right in front of them. I switched to oil paints, which allows me to create the beaded texture in my work.
What brings you back to the Celebration of Fine Art every year?
There is nothing like it anywhere. It is truly a unique experience. People get to see the art getting created and it’s one of the few places you can interact with the people buying your art. When you show in a gallery you don’t get to see or know the person purchasing your art. Here [at the Celebration of Fine Art] I have people that come back to see me each year.