Marilyn RIOPEL

November 22 – January 29, 2023




Starting a new painting, I hold back any thoughts and let my hand make marks where it chooses.  If my thoughts are too active I play music to keep them busy, then the subconscious responds and the hand starts moving again.  

When marking stops, I assess what’s there and freely lay colour, keeping watch where next to go.  Forms and patterns evolve, it’s then I enter with intention, pushing to develop composition and interest until I like what I’ve done.  Leaving the piece nearby, distance and time assesses if it’s really complete.  I may add, change or remove areas until I’m satisfied and know it is right.

Growing up in NY City among an artistic family, Riopel was surrounded by painting, sculpture, photography, piano and voice.  She studied with Arnold Blanch at the Art Student’s League then Philip Guston at NYU.  Moving to Greenwich Village, she sketched portraits and cityscapes while working in advertising.  Irked by commercialism, she trained to teach in Waldorf Schools and emigrated to Vancouver for a position.

Accepted by the FCA, Riopel exhibited in their gallery winning many awards.  Starting with watercolours, her love of saturated colour drew her to pastels shifting from traditional themes to impressionism then abstracts by working in multiple series explorations.

Locked in during the Pandemic, restlessness brought her to try alcohol inks.  “It felt like watching flowing colour explode with life.”  Captured by the inks, her achievement gained the accolade of ‘Associate’ with the Federation of Canadian Artists.  She now teaches and demonstrates how the inks bloom.