In Juneau, this First Friday on March 3, a new artist will be making her debut: Marissa Amor.
Diving in with Amor: A Q&A with the seaside loving artist 030117 AE 1 Capital City Weekly In Juneau, this First Friday on March 3, a new artist will be making her debut: Marissa Amor.

"Life After Death," pen, watercolor and gouache by Marissa Amor.

Pen and watercolor by Marissa Amor.

Watercolor, gouache and pen painting by Marissa Amor.

Acrylic by Marissa Amor.

Acrylic by Marissa Amor.

Pen, colored pencil, watercolor by Marissa Amor.

Pencil and acrylic by Marissa Amor.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Story last updated at 2/27/2017 - 7:08 pm

Diving in with Amor: A Q&A with the seaside loving artist

In Juneau, this First Friday on March 3, a new artist will be making her debut: Marissa Amor. 

Amor has done a couple small displays of her paintings in Seward years ago, but this time will be her first big showing. A range of 7-10 of her pieces will be on display from 4:30-7 p.m. in Front Street’s Heritage Coffee location. Prints will be sold there for the month of March. 

The Capital City Weekly caught up with Amor to ask about her artwork. The exchange is below. 

What made you delve into painting the past two years? 

Well, in the past couple years I’ve been living a vagabond lifestyle. I have picked up jobs in different places, tried going back to school, and moved all over the place. But I was drawn to coastal communities. Living near the water and changing scenery often really fueled my creativity. 

This is your first big showing of your artwork — how did this come about

Funny story, actually. It got to a point where there was a high demand for a certain piece I did, “Life After Death,” and I had never made prints before. I desperately needed to find a printer and wandered into Ice Fog Press, which turned out to be my old professor, Ben Huff’s business. Then for packaging materials I went to Katrina at Taku Graphics. Just a few days ago, they called me in for a meeting and asked if I’d be interested in showing my work at Heritage for First Friday. Of course I had to take the opportunity! They set it all up with Heritage, and I’m super grateful for their support.

The ocean is a motif in your work. What about it draws you to paint it? 

The ocean has been a constant in my life as well as my work. I’ve always been drawn to the sea, and this has compassed most of my life decisions about school, work, and where I live. I paint it because it’s the most familiar thing to me. I also want to bring others closer to something I love, in hopes that they will love it too. 

What’s your process when painting? 

I am not a sketcher. I hardly ever plan for a painting, and I actually never have an end image in mind when I start. I just begin, without expectation, and let the work inspire me as I go. 

Art, to me, is always more about the process than the outcome. Sometimes painting feels more like a dance, the way my hand moves across canvas and my mind zones out. It’s one of the few activities that make me feel fully present. 

My routine for getting to my flow state includes natural light, coffee, and whatever music I feel will compliment the pace of the art I’m doing. 

What advice have you heard from another artist that has resonated with you? 

One of my favorite artists is Rebecca Rebouche, a brilliant painter from New Orleans. In an interview I read, her advice to young artists was this: 

“Bold delusion. You have to believe in yourself in an almost crazy way. You have to be bold enough to make something from nothing over and over again. And you have to be delusional enough to think that your ideas are valuable, which is, of course, not delusional at all.” 

I gave up on art a few times before simply because I didn’t feel that I was creative enough or talented enough. It takes a lot of courage to keep doing something that makes you so vulnerable to the world. Her advice helped me believe in myself. 

Any other creative projects planned? 

I’d like to eventually get some huge canvases and do a series of vivid, detailed portraits of intertidal life. I want the scale to be HUGE. I plan on traveling around Alaska a bit more to find inspiration in new places. Then, when I can afford the space, time and materials, I’ll get to work!