art is meant to be fun
By Cassie Liu, 9th grader in MRHS
Feb. 5th, 2020
As I walked into her front yard, my attention had been caught by all these cute metal statues and little decorations that are in her garden. With the afternoon sun shines through her glass windows, her pottery and glass artworks reflect colorful and mild light. This beautiful house is owned by a long time artist by the name of Lambeth Marshall, my interviewee of today.
She was born in Charlotte, but she has lived in other places. Like many people, Mrs. Marshall was deeply influenced by her family. Her mom was an artist and a photographer; sadly she passed away when Lambeth was very young. “But guess I inherited her talent because I was winning an award when I was six years old.” She said that proudly with a smile in her eyes.
By the influence of her family, Lambeth started making art at a very young age. She first started as a painter when she was about fifteen. She continued painting realistic paintings until she was about thirty. And then she took some classes in pottery and she fell in love with it, so she continued doing that for at least twenty five years. Later she picked up painting again all the while still making one of a kind artistic pottery. This time she started painting abstracts instead of realistic paintings.
I was a little curious about why she chose to work on abstract paintings. She told me: “It’s more fun. You know, a landscape is a landscape, but when you look at something like this, it makes you think. It might look like landscape to some people, ocean waves, sky, mountains. “There are a thousand pictures in a thousand people’s eyes.” I guess because of that, she doesn’t start her artwork with a theme, she just paints, and then the painting itself tells her what it wants her to do.
She paints most of her painting with ink, and acrylic on canvas or on paper. By talking to her I learned that she first draws with black and white on the canvas, without any color. And then she sprays it with water and shakes and move it around, so we can get these drip lines there. Then she’ll let that dry with a hair drier. After that, she will make the texture usually in various ways then she takes some old credit card or something like that to go through it. “It sounds so fun,” I said. “Yes. It is fun. Art is meant to be fun.” Lambeth replied with smile.
As I mentioned, I was very impressed by her garden and the interior design of her house. She told me that she designed the house by herself. “I designed the house to be a gallery, a house, and a studio as a lot to do with my art.” As she was talking, she led me to the other side of the gallery and started introducing some of her paintings to me. I saw a lot of beautiful paintings such as the Garden party, and the Fall Festival. She showed me some more in her living room. “See these? I painted these when it was fall. I normally don’t paint in the reds, but that time I was having so much fun.” Her face and sound were filled with joy and excitement as she talked about it.
Besides the saying of “Art is meant to be fun”, another impressive point I got from this interview is the time that it takes for an artist to create a piece of art. “My professor told me each painting of mine takes time that as long as I’ve been doing arts to make.” She pointed at a painting of hers on the floor, said: “This one took me 50 years.” Seeing my surprise and confusion, she explained: “50 years of practicing and you get the knowledge.” Yeah, as an old Chinese saying goes: one minute of performance on stage, ten years of hard work off stage. It’s not easy for any artwork to be created.
“How does your artwork affect your daily life?” I ended my interview with this last question. She answered me without any hesitation: “It makes me happy.” Yes, with all that passion and motivation, one certainly can create their own beautiful work. Just go have fun with the things that you are passionate about, because why not?