This past Saturday I had the amazing opportunity to interview Charlotte-based Artist, Marcy Gregg. We saw her exhibition at the Anne Neilson Gallery a few months back and I was so excited to have the chance to meet her, see her beautiful studio and talk with her about her artistic process.
Marcy’s studio is located in the Dilworth Artisan Station where over 2 dozen artists have their studios. The building is over 100 years old and has served as a factory, textile mill and was even used to store soldiers’ cars during WWII.
Every painting Marcy does has a Bible verse written across the entire canvas in red and then she paints over the top of it. I was interested to find how she decides on the verse to go underneath each painting.
I get up early each morning for quiet time, and when a verse speaks to me I write it down on a sticky note and bring it into the studio. When I get ready to start on a new piece I pull one down and the verse not only serves as a foundation for the painting but it is also reflected in the title of the piece.
Is there a particular painting or paintings from the current exhibition that has special meaning for you?
Some of my favorite paintings from the most recent exhibition were two that I struggled with the most. I find that with the struggle with the canvas the true beauty comes through. Not every piece is easy to paint, but I enjoy the tough paintings even more because at the end I feel that I learned through the process and I can look back and think, “Wow! I did it.”
If you look at Marcy’s paintings you’ll see that there are circles and lines in each piece, so I was curious to find out what they mean to her.
The circle is a complete shape, and reminds me of Colossians 2:10 where it tells us that, “We are complete in Him.”
The lines in my pieces were inspired by a trip to Italy with my husband. While most people were looking at the paintings as a whole, I saw inspired by the shapes and lines in the art. Some of the lines were intensional by the artist, and others were from the painting cracking due to age. That’s when I began incorporating line work into my paintings.
Your paintings have such beautiful and vivid colors. Do you have a preferred color palette to work with?
I love color and my paintings are driven by color. My favorite color to work with is Yellow Ochre and it’s in all of my pieces whether either represented on its own or mixed in with the other colors I use.
When so many people see abstract their first thought is often “Oh, I could do that!” but when it comes down to it, there is so much more than goes into the abstract that you might think. What drew you to abstract in particular?
I felt drawn to them. When I first starting painting again I painted barns, cows, and landscapes, but then one day I decided to paint an abstract barn and it just felt right. When I finished I knew, “If I do this I’ll leave representational painting behind.”
I’m always curious to ask an artist if they listen to music or prefer silence when they paint.
I do like to listen to music. When there aren’t a lot of people in the studios or my studio mate is in the studio I’ll play music either aloud or with headphones on. It’s usually pretty quiet around the studio on Saturday mornings versus during the week when most of the other artists in the building are in their studios.
What is your favorite thing about beginning work for a new exhibition?
I love thinking about what the end result will be… and how much fun it’s going to be getting there.
Marcy has done two exhibitions with the Anne Neilson Gallery, so I asked her what was her favorite part about working together with the gallery team.
They are just a delight to work with and they share my heart and desire to give back. For each exhibition they let me choose where I want the donations to go, and for both of the shows I’ve done with them we’ve donated to the missionary group SIM. My heartbeat is Anne’s heartbeat.
Do you have a favorite artist that inspires you?
What do you hope that the viewer gets out of your paintings when they come to your exhibitions?
I want them to be drawn into the painting, and see the energy of the painting as they stand there looking at it.
Marcy’s work has been featured at the following galleries…
- Anne Neilson Fine Art Gallery – 532 Governor Morrison Street, Suite C-110 Charlotte, NC
- Huff Harrington Fine Art – 4240 Rickenbacker Drive. Atlanta, Georgia
- Gallery 1401 Fine Art – 1478 Market Street. Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Bee Street Studio – 6445 Cedar Springs, #103 Dallas, Texas
Melinda Nye says
Very well written, Christa. I enjoyed hearing about all that goes into her painting, and definitely her motivations behind it. We truly are complete in Him.