About the Artist

Larson Art Studio

An artist for over 20 years, Marlene's early and lasting influences came from her two distinguished instructors, Maria del Carmen Calvo and Sebastian Capella, both impressionist painters from Spain. Advanced art courses at Laguna Beach Art Institute and Cal-State Fullerton helped shape an artist who is comfortable painting still- lifes, figurative and portrait work, as well as the landscape on location ("en plein air").

Moving to Santa Fe in 1995 gave rise to extensive "en plein air" painting and continuing studies with well known artists Doug Higgins, Albert Handell and Kevin Macpherson. She was accepted into the Santa Fe Society of Artists and began doing outdoor shows both in Santa Fe and neighboring states. In 1998 Marlene's oil paintings were selected for national exhibition by the Oil Painters of America, of which she is a member. This was repeated in 1999 both nationally and regionally.

A return to her home state of California in April 2000, sparked an enthusiasm to paint large, colorful landscapes and she completed several commissions, including a 8' x 4' mural which was the result of a concept she calls "inspiration by collaboration" where there is a shared vision which is developed between the patron and the artist.

Back in Santa Fe, Marlene enjoyed "en plein air" painting but also experimented with pushing past the boundaries of subject matter. She continued to deepen her "emotional connection" with the paint itself, not relying on the subject matter at hand and created a "feeling" which the viewer can interpret and relate to on their own personal level.

Marlene is now living and painting in Fort Myers, Florida.

  • Oil Painters of America
  • Santa Fe Society of Artists
Juried Shows and Exhibitions
  • Oil Painters of America National Juried Exhibition - Washington, D.C
  • Painters of America National Juried Exhibition - Scottsdale, AZ
  • Painters of America West and Southwest Regional Show - Pueblo, CO
  • Santa Fe Society of Artists-Group Shows and Exhibitions
  • Fountain Hills Arts and Crafts Show - Fountain Hills, AZ
  • 17th Annual La Quinta Arts Festival - La Quinta, CA
  • 25th Annual Phippen Museum Western Art Show and Sale - Prescott, AZ
  • 24th Annual Gathering at the Great Divide Art Festival - Breckenridge, CO
  • Affaire in the Gardens - Beverly Hills, CA
  • Annual Southwest Art Festival - Indio, CA
  • Fountain Hills Great Fair - Fountain Hills, AZ
  • Carefree Fine Art and Wine Festival - Carefree, AZ
  • Sonoran Festival of the Arts - Carefree, AZ

Marlene Larson embraces a sense of calm
She strives to capture emotion

By Antonio Lopez

Although painter Marlene Larson views this as coincidence, her life has worked out in such a way that Spain is a latent influence on her landscape paintings. Trained by two Spanish painters when she lived in California, she moved to New Mexico to be enveloped by its beauty, but the inevitable adobe or Spanish territorial house creeps into her work.

Beyond that, what characterizes Larson's landscapes and florals is her sense of light. Influenced by irnpressionist, Larson uses thick strokes and muted colors to draw out the essence of the land she paints.

Having recently taken a jaunt to California, Larson was able to capture all the green from the recent rainfall. Still, it was a push for her to create brighter work. I don't work bright, she said. I don't know how to. I work with neutralized colors, but it's a mixture of a lot color, and they don't come across bold, bright or abrasive.

A classically trained painter, Larson learned the ropes from her two mentors, Maria del Carmen Calvo and Sabastian Capella. Since moving to Santa Fe, she has studied with Doug Higgins and Kevin Macpherson.

"Most of my teachers are of the impressionist style", she said. Some people don't think my work is that. To me impressionist means loose brush work, trying to catch light. I think impressionist is the big umbrella that you label yourself under, and then you go off in your own direction. For inspiration, she travels, trying to paint outside as much as possible.

"I am interested in responding to my environment, and I respond to it through my paintings", she said. If I can capture some kind of emotion or feeling, whether it's serenity, beauty, or whatever, it's a sense of calmness. That's what I strive to do."

On being in a highly competitive market for landscape paintings, Larson feels it doesn't matter. I think we all interpret things with our own unique sensibilities and vision. I have been encouraged to branch out, but I can't do that. You have to be true to yourself and constantly try to improve your skills and constantly stimulate yourself so your work is fresh.

The Artist
"The Artist at Work"



On the Road
"On the Road"



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