Marie Soderlund’s expression through art reveals her lust for life with vibrant portraits of friends, dance and nature in saturated flowing hues. Her latest passion embraces the serenity of gazing at the stillness of water graced by floating lotus blossoms. One can escape into the depths of the illusion of water through the careful layering of color and flowing lines Marie presents in these enchanting new works.

 

During the pandemic, Marie explored the use of acrylics as she focused on portraiture as a way of bringing people into her life while being sequestered from the general public. While she found satisfaction and solace in the human faces she rendered, watercolors called her back to the layering and lines that are so integral to her work. The colors of the sunsets in New Mexico called her deeper still into her journey through color and texture.

 

Spending time on the water canoeing with her partner, Jon, brought deep peace and contemplation through the coolness of the water and aliveness of the air, as dragonflies flew and lotus blossoms bloomed around them.

frame around portrait of artist Marie Soderlund
portrait of Santa Fe watercolor artist Marie Soderlund making one of her paintings in her studio.

Growing up, the artist was moved back and forth between Sweden and the U.S., almost like a military family. She never really established any roots until the age of 10, when the family made the final move from Sweden to the USA. Drawing had always been her way to escape, and integrate her experiences by coloring her world. Her talent was unrecognized by her family, and it wasn’t until the artist’s mother became a widow that she told her daughter, “I always knew you were artistic.”

The first painting Marie Soderlund made that got attention was created from five photographs the artist had taken of local magnolias,

the blossoms in different stages. She found that she had a natural ability to use the flow of watercolor and recognize “mistakes” that would happen during the process and become part of the painting. While many feel that watercolors are unforgiving Marie Soderlund has a symbiotic relationship with the medium.

Seven years ago, leaving California after living there for over 40 years, the artist set her sights on Santa Fe. Drawn here by the art, the life, the architecture, the food and the skiing, Marie and new love, Jon flourished in the Land of Enchantment. Gardening and music became ways to paint the canvas of life. And New Mexico's landscapes and vast skies whispered insistently, demanded really, to be brought into her studio.

 

What you see here is the product of that calling. The serenity of water, the beauty of blossoms, color and quiet became Soderlund's new best friends. "I am very proud of my new body of work and hope they bring a bit of beauty into other people’s worlds. I know there’s a lot more inside of me whispering to get out, so keep looking! I know my mother would be proud." - Marie Soderlund