#saturdayartreview Saturday Art Review by C.J. Shane
September 22, 2012
Marilyn Fenn
Texas artist Marilyn Fenn has a series of quotes on her blog, one of which is from Willem de Kooning. “There is a time in life when you just take a walk. And you walk in your own landscape.”  I think that’s a perfect way to describe Marilyn Fenn’s art. She is primarily an abstract artist who has created her own landscape. And her landscape is a delightful place.
There are two main themes in her self-created landscape. The first is one of wildly delicious color combined with undulating shapes, many of which are circular. This gives us a strong feeling of encountering natural life forms. Some of these forms appear to be cellular life viewed through a microscope. Even better are the ones that give us the sense of strolling through a barely tamed garden – flowers and leaves moving in a soft breeze, fragrance of blossoms rise in warm air, bees and butterflies sip nectar, and there’s a visiting hummingbird of course. Maybe there are also some juicy berries on that thorny bush waiting for us at the end of the garden path. 
Another aspect of her abstracts is how musical these paintings are. The round and oval shapes seem to move like musical notes across the canvas. Jazz is the chosen idiom here. It’s Ron Carter on bass and maybe Chick Corea on keyboard. Color, movement, rhythmic sound – it’s all there in these lovely Fenn gardens. 
Take a look at this painting Opps! 'Scuse me! which seems more than anything like the fruit of the harvest from Marilyn’s garden.  There’s a juicy watermelon pink, delicious mango, lime, and berry with those musical seed notes rising.  And Marilyn is not afraid of purple. It is a color which is can dominate, and consequently is best used as an accent. But in this painting, hers is a perfect just-so purple.
In addition to her wonderful abstracts, Marily Fenn also has some thought-provoking minimalist landscapes, stunning encaustics including a series on tornadoes, and a still-life series of small-scale toys with big-time attitudes. My favorite in this series is that funny bunny holding a “JUMP!” sign. Her sense of humor comes across in every belligerent little face.
Marilyn no doubt struggles mightily with her paintings as most artists do, but the struggle doesn’t show. The end result are paintings that are joyful, vibrant, and ultimately very comforting. The life force is strong in Marilyn Fenn’s paintings.
For more see http://marilynfenn.com/
and read an interview with Marilyn from +Charles van Heck  at his Whitman Pond literary and arts journal.
*New Painting: "Oops --'ScuseMe!"

I got a bit bolder with the colors on this painting.  This was intended to be a continuation of the same visual idea from the painting I posted yesterday.  The fact that it isn't quite seems to be proof of something, but what exactly, I'm not sure.  Another goofy composition, but I love it!

“Oops! ScuseMe!“
Oil on canvas
16″ x 12″
© 2012 Marilyn Fenn
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