M A R E N E D O W N S
” I Hear You, ” my soul said to me years ago. Despite many others, including teachers, professionals, non-professionals, and society, advising me that perhaps I should choose another path. I didn’t listen to them. I wasn’t even aware at the time, and my soul was persistent and consistent that I was an artist.
That’s where my heartbeat is,
my joy and purpose lay.
I was always drawing as a kid and when I found paint, I was hooked! There is something about paint that turns me on!
It doesn’t really matter much what I am painting, I dig it! I have painted just about anything that doesn’t move. I paint in acrylics as I can’t wait for the paint to dry. I have pieces from California to Australia to Milan and pretty much everywhere in between!
For 25+ years I dabbled with canvases alongside painting apartments and commercial spaces for various companies. I worked to pay for my expensive habit and it was alright because I was working with paint after all, and paint’s ability to transform spaces was gratifying for me.
In 2014 I was let go from the property management company I was working for due to “financial restructuring “, (I was making $11 an hour), and decided then and there that I was launching my Plan A of making a living doing my art.
I do not have a Plan B. All my energy goes into Plan A as that is where my heart and soul feel aligned and where I feel free, engaged, and connected.
I hear me and listening to myself also means my style, subject matter, and technique changes along my path as I change, learn, and grow.
My family has blessed me with many experiences including living in Ewa Beach, Oahu Hawai’i, for 4 years and that impacted me tremendously and still does today. The islands, culture, people, language, and traditions found a way to my core. That’s what I love painting and expressing. It has evolved into showcasing the connections to not only water and land but to living beings, animals that have their own unique ways of interacting and expressing themselves and highlighting all we can learn from them, and that seems to be the kick I am on at the moment!
Expressing through art is not only my purpose here, it is my Bliss…..I am listening to my Bliss.
What is something you had to put off because of the pandemic that you have recently done or is on your list to do soon?
The pandemic didn’t really alter much for me. As an artist, I usually work solitary and there I thrive. It was more peaceful and I went on as usual. The thing it DID affect was the live painting gigs that I was doing at least once a month and the connections to the people who came out, that was weird. Not being able to hang out with friends, I felt strongly.
What does your art future hold for you?
My future is a wide-open field of possibilities! Onward and Upward. My art/life motto is “One Life, Live Fiercely” and I am looking forward to what this coming version of myself turns out to be.
How do you keep motivated?
What keeps me motivated is that I have a vast and strong support team of friends, colleagues, fellow artists, and Marene Original’s ohana (family) that encourage, uplift and love me. I also have this innate sense that I am nowhere near done expressing myself and making connections through art! Seeing other artist’s work in the community is a great boost, watching them do their thing is always motivational for me…. it always gets me stoked!
Name a famous artist who inspires you and one not yet famous artist you would like the readers to know.
I so dig Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Basquiat… there are several more !! Chris Long is one many may not know, and I find his work loose, powerful, and bold.
Is there a current or upcoming show or exhibit you want to let people know about?
I do not have any events in the works at the moment. I do have my 2024 yearly calendar coming up! You can order directly through me via my Marene Downs page on FB! That is where you can contact me for hand-painted hats, shirts, shoes, coconuts, murals, and canvases
What inspires you to be an artist and what inspiration can you pass on to others?
One aspect that inspires me is pushing forward the philosophy of doing what you love. It matters that you do. Some of us are meant to be accountants, carpenters, or marine biologists and that’s what you get to do. A marine biologist has little if any joy in being an accountant. Same for everything. Life is more than a job, life is following your soul, its purpose, and heartbeat. What stokes your fire, go do that…. do that for yourself and find bits of bliss along the way. I hope that the energy, and the good vibes I put into every piece I do is infused into the space it occupies and those who get to see it. Not only artists, in whatever endeavor you choose. Maybe that changes the world we live in, one of Peace, Love, Acceptance, and Gratitude.
That prospect inspires me every day.
How are you giving back to your community?
One way of giving back to the community is through Art Squad which not only is a group of artists, it is a movement. A movement where artists are paid for their work in actual money not just exposure. Exposure doesn’t pay our rent, electric bill, or supplies. Getting paid for our time and talents do. We strive to educate both artists and businesses on this important aspect. A singer or band gets paid for the gig they’re doing and more often than not artists are not, we seek to change that dynamic. Also, I try to encourage artists who may be unsure, even afraid of showing or painting live, and hope to help them over this small and mighty speed bump that may stop what they really want to do. Most times it’s the support or words of encouragement that can give wind to dreams and I get stoked to be in a space to give that often and freely. We need more people going out and doing what they love and doing it fiercely. I think that impacts a community more than some think.
Let’s end with a fun fact about you.
Fun fact about me… hmm…I won’t “do anything for a Klondike Bar”, but just maybe for a banana-flavored moon pie! Oh, yeah, I tend to name inanimate objects like stuffed animals and my van! I am also a huge football fan- Fins UP!
Anything else you would like to include?
The works featured here are available for purchase directly through the Artist. The Artist makes 100% of the profit from the sale of the artwork, so this is a great time to support them while enhancing your art collection. The artist will directly pack and ship the product to you. All works are original and signed by the artist!
For more information on Marene’s artwork email: [email protected]