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Featured Flea Artist: Marilyn Garrett

I was born as the product of a beautiful love affair between a German girl, and an American Soldier. The first four years of my life was throwing many tantrums so bad that I would remain an only child. My fantasy world emerged and started to take form. As a child I would collect pictures out of magazines and carry them around. Hypnotized by their glaring eyes and expressions, I constantly felt alone and isolated from the rest of my family and friends, I was simply different and preferred my fantasy world. At 7, I started drawing and by age 9 did my first oil painting which was a landscape. By high school, I was experimenting with many different styles including portraits. However when I was exposed to the works of Salvador Dali, my perception changed. I could do anything! How I saw the world became acceptable. From this point on, I realized as an artist I see the world differently. I have participated in many events from group shows to art festivals throughout the years. It wasn’t until about 2 years ago that I made the decision to do art full time. I realized this is what I was put on this earth to do. The one aspect of my art that seems to raise eyebrows is that most of the work you see is done with my fingers. Over the last few years, I realized that I could accomplish more without the use of brushes. Most of my paintings are 90% finger paintings. I have never had any formal training as far as art. I have always just worked at it every day to master my craft. I am also very proud that I can mentor, and help other artists and have that family of likeminded people in my life to share that with; however, my own technique of how I paint with my fingers is still top secret.

Music has always been a driving force in my creative process. Each piece that I do has its own soundtrack. The last year and a half have been amazing. My art has been on several album covers, including Olivia Jean Merry Widow Special Edition released on Third Man Records (Jack White’s Record Label). And thanks to Third Man Records many doors have opened for my art. I have had the opportunity to be a part of many projects with musicians including, Olivia Jean, MK Kitty, John Curaso, Nordik Fire, and Babes In Toyland. I have been featured on 33/40, and will have a Podcast at the end of the month with “Vulcan has a Fade”. I am currently working on the cover to a Horror Series and for the first time will have my own show with another local artist, Brian Burx, here in Birmingham in December.

We live in a world where an artist can literally be anywhere and share their work. However, there is so much to be said about your community and city supporting you and what you create. I continue to strive to improve my art and my perspective of the world. As an artist, that’s my job, to tap into that pinwheel of emotion that everyone has, and everyone experiences. With my art I want to affect people mind, body, and spirit. Below are some of Mailyns favorite works!

Some Q&As with Marilyn:

How old were you when you began painting?

I began painting at age 9

Did you go to school for art? No...I have had no formal training. I learned how to paint by being thrown into a art group as a kid with 70 and 80 year old painters..most of them oil painters. That is how I learned the basics.

When is the best time for you to work? I work pretty much around the clock. I'm the mother of 10 year old twins so when they are i school or late at night...whenever I ha e a spare moment.

Do you listen to misc while you work? If so, what do you listen to? I absolutely listen to music while painting. That is one of my biggest tools. Each piece has its own soundtrack. I usually start out with something very intense like punk or industrial and move on into something more melodic.

How do you pick your subjects when you paint them? I usually pick subject matter that inspires me personally in some way. Whether it be what they have put out in the world, such as other artist, or someone that has a certain look that can portray what I want as far as image in the pieces TO SEE MORE WORKS: (and you should!) Instagram as @marilyngart.

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