California Studio Visit!


Magical Marlene White in her studio

There is such MAGIC in visiting an artists’ studio, don’t you think? You get a rare little peek into their private, creative space and are given this amazing gift as they share their soulful environment with you. You never know how you will be moved and invigorated and I find that so intoxicating. Maybe you will learn what inspires them, a new technique or simply how they manage their time. I was lucky enough to get a taste of all of the above when I went to visit my friend Marlene’s studio in Oakland CA. I had the luxury of seeing her work for the first time in person and I must say I was a bit giddy! Marlene has a cozy little nook at the Hive where  30 other artists reside. My first impression was how great it would be to be surrounded by so many creative people! Just having people who understand this “artist life” and who can offer critical feedback, encouragement and support is SO essential in keeping the creative juices flowing.

One of Marlene's groovy paintings!

Going to grad school with Marlene was also a gift. I got to see first hand how video became part of her creative process. Many of the paintings she made during this time are HUGE! This little sheep is one of her newer pieces. I love how she left the wood showing through, as well as the groovy patterns. You may remember I have quite a thing for polka dots!

One of Marlene's sketchbooks

I got to peek into the many pages of wonder as Marlene shared her sketchbook with me.

I delighted in seeing where her creative ideas originated.

Marlene's "inspiration board"

Marlene is also very organized and I noticed how she used this chalkboard to record some of her ideas and creative goals. I keep a similar board in my studio with inspiring images and ideas. Seeing her “inspiration board” reminded me that I need to revisit my own which I had tucked away before my Open Studio. I am presently ablaze of new ideas from this trip!

Marlene's "scroll sketchbook"

I appreciate how Marlene will use materials she has on hand or that people at her studio leave in a common use area. This clever “sketchbook” was created using some inexpensive brown craft paper on a roll. I loved watching her unroll them down the hallway and seeing the mass of patterns, drawings and color.

detail of Marlene's artwork


Earrings or miniature paintings?

Marlene also makes miniature versions of her paintings into earrings. Aren’t they so fun and colorful? They look even better in person where you can appreciate the detail. She has been VERY busy since I left California preparing for her own Open Studio at the Hive. It is enthralling to see how the “beginnings” of some her paintings now finished. I am especially loving her book cover paintings and the backgrounds she created for them. You can see them on her groovy BLOG along with some of the new wood burning she is doing! I love LOVE Love my friend MARLENE WHITE!!! and cannot thank her enough for her kindness & generosity in sharing both her studio and herself with me!  She is certainly an artist you will want to follow for constant inspiration! You never know what she will have brewing in her studio!

love ya dolly!


p.s. It would be lovely if you would say “hello” to Marlene and send her good energy for a successful Open Studio!

Here is a link to one of Marlene’s Magical video’s. There are SO many, you will want to see them all! I had a little trouble embedding it:





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One thought on “California Studio Visit!

  1. Hi Laura, Just wanted to say I got Marlene’s video to work. I will tell you later what I did. I feel it is so important to see Marlene’s video work. I remember sitting in Haybarn at Goddard in 2008 with goose bumps because of how inspirational her work was. She still remains one of those people that inspires me. I am so glad you ladies were able to spend some time together. I agree that it is so wonderful seeing other artists process and work space. We have so much to learn from one another! I think I may start one of those idea boards you and Marlene have.

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