Marie S Pearson


Marie moved from Minneapolis to Portland in 2003. The decision to come to Portland was not a planned one -- she closed her eyes and picked a spot on a map. For 10 years, she saw herself as a Midwesterner living and working in the Pacific Northwest, but when she started teaching that view began to change. Currently, she is one of the art teachers at Wilson High School, and through teaching, she began to see herself as part of the Portland community. 

Portland is a city with many green spaces, and the contrast between its architectural and natural components intrigues her. Often when she is drawing on-site, she construct narratives inspired by the place she is capturing in her sketchbook. As she develop this series of vignettes, she thinks about our urban landscape and the possible stories that may unfold. 

She begins by drawing on-site in her sketchbook using pencil. In the studio, she inks the drawing, exposing it onto a screen, and printing it. Then, she selects a print and adds watercolor to create a one of a kind image. She chooses to screen print her drawings for several reasons. First, the process removes unnecessary lines present in the initial sketchbook drawing. When she draws, she sketches out multiple lines in order to find the line she wants for the image. When she exposes the drawing onto a screen, she eliminates the unnecessary sketched lines of the composition. Second, she can mix the exact color and transparency of ink that she envisions for the image. She sees an overarching color in the place she is drawing in her sketchbook, and mixes that color for the print. Third, She feels free to take creative risks with the watercolor application because she prints multiples of the same image. Prior to working this way, she felt anxious as she got close to finishing a painting, for fear of making a mistake. She found that she was choosing safe creative decisions instead of experimenting with color and technique. Because she has multiple prints of the same image, she feels free to experiment with watercolor and continue to grow as a painter.