“I don’t remember what artist said this but I’ve always liked this. She said ‘There are no dumb ideas.’ And I always keep that in my head. Maybe you are not going like it when you get to that point of is this done or isn’t or who cares. You have to try it. You have to see where it goes. That’s why we’re artists. Were allowed to do that. Nobody is telling us you can’t do that. There might be people saying that but they are wrong. You can do this. You can do whatever you want. That’s why you’re an artist.”
Marjorie Moore’s art career has continued to evolve through many decades of work. Her core themes and ideas have maintained consistency and evolved but the way she communicates with and through different types of drawing, painting, and combined media have changed with the different phases of her life. From the isolation of a farm in western Maine to the big city, it has all shaped what she wants to say and how.
She has a love of materials, the tactile experience of making things by hand, collecting curiosities, and above all nature. The way aspects of the natural world are anthropomorphized and juxtaposed with pop culture and science creates some of the narratives and psychology that she explores. From puppets and soft sculpture, to large dark and theatrical paintings with animated characters and dolls, to small delicate nature based works, and many styles in between, she has never let herself get locked into or lost in any one style of art.
After living in Austin for over two decades she moved back to Maine to retire with her husband where she continues to cultivate her interest in the ocean. Some of her current work partly incorporates drawings made working directly from objects she has acquired along the shore of the island where she lives, such as seaweed, shells, lichen, and rocks. She sometimes builds up the surface of a piece by starting with a watercolor painting and adding strips and cutout shapes from mylar stained with ink, and found objects including plants dipped in beeswax.
What an nice adventure it was traveling by ferry out to Great Diamond Island off of Portland, Maine, to visit Marjorie while I was on vacation. She was recommend to me by a two previous podcast guests, Hayley Gillespie, and Madeline Irvine. Her and her husband graciously showed me around their beautiful residence, the island they call home, and they even took me out for a very fine waterside lunch on my birthday! Please enjoy this interview which ends with Marjorie and myself exploring the beach where she sometimes finds inspirations for her artwork.
Some of the subjects we discuss:
Beginnings in art
Love of materials
Nature drawing course
Interest in things
Peace Corp in Iran
Return to US
Farm in Maine
Move to Texas
No dumb ideas
Maine/Austin art community
Drought, Fire, Ash
Interest in ocean
Meaning of the work
Marjorie on the beach at Diamond Cove.
Marjorie in her home studio.
Marjoire being interviewed.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian
- Marjorie Moore - website
- Earthwatch | Non Profit Environmental Organisation
- Austin Art Talk Podcast Episode 9: Hayley Gillespie - Art.Science.Gallery.
- Running With Scissors | Artist Studios & Community | Current Artists
- Marjorie Moore and Steve Wiman by Madeline Irvine | ART LIES: A Contemporary Art Quarterly