Interview with Ballard Designs

“How to Decorate” Blog Post for Ballard Designs

Interview with Exclusive Artist Marlise Newman:

To start, please tell us a little bit about yourself-- your background and path to becoming an artist.

Well, like the book says, “You know everything you need to know by Kindergarten”, it was that early that my artistic talent showed up. Throughout my early education I was singled out as the creative one and put to many creative and artistic projects, so when it was time for college I sought out the path that would be the quickest and most direct way in the creative world to make a living…Advertising Art and Design.

How would you describe your art?

Over a span of the last 20 years it has definitely evolved from representational to representational with a twist, abstracted images and work that is seeking to make you wonder.

You can't be pigeonholed: you paint these beautiful landscapes that blend classical and modern styles, abstracts and, of course, boats. And you don't shy away from color. How do you determine your subject and what drives your palette choices?

The older I’ve gotten, I have a little more understanding of myself and realize that I’ve always had the ability (or disability) to flow from one thing, style, subject to another. I thrive on that and have many different works and styles in process at once. Inspiration from many things, photography, travel, art and other artists and music are all things that inspire my subject. I stay close to my basic palette but can be inspired by paint swatches, interiors, and classic palettes from the masters etc.  I say I’m an intuitive painter so I really don’t plan out the palette completely, leaving room to go with just falling in love with particular colors and relationships.

What influences your work? 

Inspiration from many things, photography, travel, art and other artists and music are all things that inspire my subject. I have a strong desire to do work that is different, not predictable. I’m constantly working on that.

You are a North Carolina native and live in Charlotte. Do you draw inspiration from your home state?

North Carolina is full of beauty from the mountains to the coast and rich farmland in between.  I don’t have to go far for inspiration for landscapes.

Has your style evolved? How?

Yes, my style has definitely evolved although I’ve been told that people can always spot my work. I heard someone say that it’s not what you paint but HOW you paint. That statement really resonates with me because every subject has been done under the sun. I want my work to stand out and “speak” to the viewer and cause questions.

Can you describe your creative process and what "a day in the life of" looks like? Is it the same for each piece you create or is it a little different each time you’re in the studio? 

There are days when you need to prepare the surfaces. My paintings have a lot of layering, so I like to have different stages ready for me. I get really bogged down and uninspired when I find myself laboring over the same painting for hours and days. I need some smaller faster things going on to keep my creating fresh. Sometimes I have to make myself “have fun” --to care less about the outcome and just experience the freedom. This usually works to my advantage!

We are so excited to have you as an exclusive artist and the opportunity to sell your artwork that our customers won’t find anywhere else. Why did you decide to work with Ballard?

Believe it or not, after receiving and loving (and ordering from) the Ballard Designs Catalog for years and years, working with Ballard had been a secret dream… and one day I just decided to go for it! I’m thrilled for the opportunity.

How do you envision people enjoying your art in their homes? I recently sold a painting to a collector who picked up the painting in my studio. When she came in, she clasped her heart and sighed and just stared with quiet happiness. I want people to feel a connection to their soul. I am always amazed and humbled when this happens. 

As the saying goes, art is in the eye of the beholder. What kind(s) of art are you drawn to and personally collect?

I have a pretty broad range of things I love. Right now I’m drawn to great abstracts and abstracted subjects… things that express freedom in the approach.

Last question: What kinds of things are you loving right now or what inspires you these days? (It could be a book, store, product, person, saying, activity, etc.)

I am loving the color Indigo

I love great interior design

I love great song lyrics and music (all genres)

I love believing in God.

Lake House Design & Art Install