Breaking New Trails

Breaking New Trails

Artist adds glass to acrylic paintings

Courtesy Image Marlene Samuel’s “Fathom: The Depth of the Sea” is on show this month at White Lotus in Fayetteville.

Courtesy Image

Marlene Samuel’s “Fathom: The Depth of the Sea” is on show this month at White Lotus in Fayetteville.  

No glass bottle is safe around Fayetteville’s Marlene Samuel nowadays. She sees them all as something to smash, a source for her new style of art which includes glass pieces as the focal point.

Samuel says she still struggles with calling herself an artist, but she has been painting for almost a decade.

“I always made sure my kids had exposure in arts and music to dabble with and see what they liked,” she says. She, on the other hand, could most often be found on the back of a horse. “But I had gone through some health issues” that kept her out of the saddle, “and a friend of mine introduced me to her art teacher in Fayetteville.” More studies followed, “and I had really good time with some good teachers.”

“The collage thing,” as Samuel calls works like “Fathom: The Depth of the Sea,” on show in August at White Lotus in Fayetteville, “evolved because I’m a touchy person. I really like texture: It stimulates not only your sight but your touch.”

She was in Florida on a rainy, cool day in May when she wandered into a shop and saw “all kinds of glass from ceiling to floor. Seeing how they incorporated all kinds of glass into the art, I thought, ‘Oh man, I’ve got to do this!’” She took a class, “and now I’m home and crunching up wine bottles. I’ve got everybody saving broken glass for me.”

The new works are not “found object” collages, but rather acrylic paintings that include glass — “just a different way to express what’s going on in that crazy brain of mine,” Samuel says.

“I like to tell stories with my art and make it happy.”

Patty Kulish, owner of White Lotus, says art fits in perfectly at her business.

“We wanted to create a peaceful place for people to relax and enjoy themselves,” she says. “Art elevates and enhances the salon/spa experience, not only for our guests but also for the professionals working here. It is also rewarding to know we are supporting the creative community in Northwest Arkansas.”

— Becca Martin-Brown

Categories: Galleries