Marjorie is a landscape painter whose work emerged from an orientation with it’s roots in abstraction with influences as broad and diverse as Diebenkorn to Monet. Klimpt to Kiefer. Bob is a figurative painter first influenced by Caravaggio, Velazquez and Eakins and later by Edwin Dickenson and Lucien Freud.
Marjorie grew up in St. Louis and Bob, Philadelphia. Their formative educations at Washington University in St. Louis and The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia respectively had strong foundations programs so they had similar backgrounds when they met in graduate school at Washington University. However, their work could not have been more different. Throughout the years their work remained autonomous but they were always each other’s most important critics. As a couple they have always shared a sense of irony and humor. When they decided to collaborate on a painting for an upcoming exhibition they applied their mutual approach to looking at the peculiar nature of people and the world and created a piece that was an interesting hybrid resembling only slightly their own individual work.
They plan the work together but never paint at the same time. They draw from an ever -growing image bank of photographs shot and collected from different parts of the country as they travel to the east coast to paint in their studio in Maine and back to their studios in California.
They come up with an idea and begin to construct a composition. There could be a mid-western sky, a field from New England, figures from a California studio or a parade in small town Maine. Cows, goats, sheep from anywhere. In the painting, “Aleppo” The artists ironically situate carriage-driving Shriners from their Aleppo chapter, clad in winter clothing, into the battle ridden Syrian city on a seemingly warm sunny peaceful day. The work speaks to the rampant ignorance or ambivalence of the American people to the tragedy of war. Cows have played an important role in a number of these collaborations. Recently the artists re-visited a farm where the organically raised cattle were particularly curious and engaging. The painting, “Middle Road Sunset” is a result of that encounter. The seemingly smiling cows are bathed in the warmth of the sunset.
Marjorie and Bob live for most of the year in southern California but feel that a change in location shakes up and invigorates the work and keeps it from becoming complacent.