Velvet Marshall: Second Generation Painter

Velvet Marshall is a second generation artist that travels the path of self-discovery with hopes to create art that reflects not only her life but life as we live it. There is determination in her goals of creating emotional responses that stimulate the imagination.

“This I believe is something of value. I know my stories, the images are in my mind – however, there is an element of organic uncertainty to my work that I enjoy and believe is the fundamental nature of what being an artist is all about. For me it’s like breathing, it’s something I have to do.”

Passion is noticeable in every painting created by Velvet and she is committed to the personal experience. Not only are there epiphanies in the process of self-discovery but the experiences in expression that expose the truth about her intellectual soul.  Descriptive words fail in comparison to the colors and brushstrokes conveying stories of her inner world unseen to most but reflected by art and self-creation.

Velvet Marshall was raised in a family of artists yet never planned on becoming one. Her artistic path came naturally so planning her future as an artist was not a priority.  Art was embedded in her nature and while other children sold lemonade from their stands to the neighbors, Velvet showcased her art. It wasn’t until later in life where art became a fingerprint to who she is.

It wasn’t a conscious choice for me until a few years ago. My daughter was raised and I needed to reconnect with myself… My daughter, who is also an artist, is a constant source of inspiration. She motivates me to blaze a trail and set an example to be the best me I can be.”

Not only has her daughter been a contributor and inspiration in Velvet’s art but her family and friends helped pave the way for her with their confidence and support.  This encouraged her to make a difference in her own surroundings and means the world to her to give and support others as an artist in her own community.

“Get involved in your community, paint every day, go to art exhibits and museums, meet and support other artist. Follow your heart and don’t compare yourself to anyone. Success is a mindset.”

Velvet Marshall’s idols include her father Chet Marshall and Georgia O’Keeffe.  O’Keeffe’s art was in her mind the first retrospective by a female artist to be shown at the Museum of Modern Art.  She has been an innovator and an artistic educator to women and highly respected in the art industry.   

She also won numerous awards, including the Medal of Freedom, a Gold Medal of Painting, and the National Medal of Arts.”

Eva Hesse was also a huge influencer to Velvet showcasing her soft, round, free-form sculptures made with industrial, every-day found materials. Where men built statues for centuries and arranged steel girders in macho arrangements of minimalism, her sagging, hanging sculptures cleverly revealed other dimensions to the physical world using rope, string, wire, rubber, and fiberglass. Like Hesse, Velvet Marshall has always been innovative but recently had to start her business in the arts again after her divorce two years ago. While her marriage had ended, her new commitment began initiated the growth of self-confidence in herself and her work again.  

“I created a nonprofit called “Lirds for the Arts” with the intention of using this type of program where artist articulate their message and use it to build stronger communities. I’ve also been working on developing a few new product lines that will be available on my website and I’m putting together my first coffee table art book which will include a collection of poems I’ve been writing since I was nine.”

Velvet was born and raised in Los Angeles, California with training in classical and realism. Her style later developed and she found a new appreciation for more progressive work from painters both American and European from the modern abstract expressionist movement of the late 1950s and 1960s.

“This form of painting, known as “action painting,” had similar ties to the surreal movement, in that it had a direct relation to the artist’s emotions, expression, and mood, and showcased their feeling behind the pieces they designed. This fusion of freedom and expressionism in conjunction with utilizing classical Flemish and old master techniques developed in a modern way is the basis of Velvet Marshall’s style philosophy. Her background in music, film and print add an additional visual, audio and tactile inspiration in her works which are very textured and sensitive to luminosity; employing recurring motion of biorhythms in the paint to predict various aspects of experiences in life with the primary use of mediums such as oil paint, roofing tar, roofing acrylic latex, watercolor, tea and common household mediums used in daily life.”

Velvet recently completed her first mural “ Good Neighbors” for the city of Hawthorne.  She was invited and supported by Art Commissioner, Gloria Plascencia opening new doors to public art. Velvet was able to raise over two thousand dollars to donate her beautiful art to the Ramona Park community. Her mural is vibrant with bright colors and shares a story of love and community. The mural took nine days and seventy-two hours to complete. Her boyfriend Chris Chavez, daughter Natassia Perez and daughter’s boyfriend David Covey helped prep and paint insuring that the mural would be completed in time! The mural was finished and her goals conquered and heart full in helping such a deserving community.

“We had twenty sponsors and painted in the heat, the rain and through the night from Sunday to Labor Day morning.  Painting and finishing the Good Neighbors mural made me feel relieved for it was a long time childhood dream…I had to be able to share with the community like my mentor Jane Golden.  It made me feel good to give the children at the park the imagination, dream and inspiration art brings to a community…The kids from the neighborhood helped us paint the bottom green border.  We bought crayons and markers for the children to draw their own version of the mural on sketch pads.  They got to share what being a good neighbor means to them.”

The City of Hawthorne City council will be honoring Velvet at a dedication ceremony where the fourteen drawings made by the children will be presented along with her maquette in late September.

If there was an up and coming artist you should get to know, it is Velvet Marshall.  She not only sets her own pace in the artist world but enhances beauty in giving to others with a selfless mind and great big heart. She is inspired and innovative in everything creative.

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