Second Journey by Marie Maines – Pastels at Elm Studio


S e c o n d  J o u r n e y

works in pastel
by Marie Maines, PSA

An interesting book, Falling Upward, by Richard Rohr, included two concepts/ideas that have served as guides for me since I read it a few years ago. First of all, he talked about the two divisions of life: the first involved with building the container and the second with filling it up. I spent the first part of my life growing myself up, establishing my family and my career as a teacher. Now I am trying to discover that person who has always wanted to be an artist and I am delighted to invite you along on this Second Journey.

Being an artist revolves around my desire to tell a story.  Unfortunately, I sometimes forget this goal as I get caught up in technique and materials. For many years, my struggle has been involved with skill development, especially as it applies to the medium of pastel. Now – I just want to tell the story.  Although continuing to develop good technique is still very important to me, content must be front and center. As I am emotionally inspired by an idea or a visual experience, I want to figure out the best way to share that idea or emotion with the viewer. The composition, light, color, values and mark making should still combine into a beautiful visual experience. The technique should be good enough not to get in the way, but hopefully the story will be what will cause one to pause and look….at least for a moment…

And this brings me to the second idea I borrowed from Richard Rohr, “bright sadness.” This phrase somehow seems to fit my current life status, as I am immersed in this surreal state of growing older. It also describes my emotions as I come across the structures that have inspired the paintings, which are the featured subjects of this show. The particular buildings that reach out to me are usually uninhabited, but still speak of the lives lived inside them. They embody the phrase, bright sadness, as they seem to be waiting patiently – expectantly – ready for those lives to begin again. I feel that my paintings are giving them, and me, that Second Journey.


See more examples of Maines’ work at
E l m  S t r e e t  S t u d i o

Exhibit: November 4 to January 3

A portion of art sale proceeds benefit the Community Storehouse Food Pantry

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