Marianne Hornbuckle’s ethereal, mystical abstract paintings reflect her journey as an artist. View more of her portfolio on her website.
I want to share my idea of reality. It’s beautiful!
Growing up an awkward buck-toothed Yankee in a totally southern town, I found my “talent” early and planned to be an artist from the second grade on. A dresser full of art supplies, art classes and reading material occupied every spare moment into my teens. I was exposed to many different materials in my after school classes.
At eighteen, the ideal of what a 1950’s woman should be asserted itself, so I attended the University of Texas in Austin and got a certificate to teach English. I married and settled into the conventional suburban life of lawyer’s wife—mother and housewife—but not artist. Unhappy and unfulfilled, I knew there had to be more. I turned again to art.
I rediscovered watercolor, this time in tubes. Within a few years I had mastered it and developed a distinctive style. I found myself sliding sideways (I’m a Cancerian), trying to manage art, children, a difficult marriage and a part-time job, and I developed a stress-caused auto-immune illness. It became obvious that change was needed to regain my health—keep the children, develop the art and return to my earliest dream.
Galleries and art consultants stepped in to support me. I began to win prizes and gained membership to AWS, NWS, and NAWA. By age forty, I was beginning my full-time professional art career.
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I joined forces with William Preston, a New England landscape painter who had relocated to Houston and we moved to Santa Fe in 1983. Our life together developed as we painted for galleries and travelled regionally and on the East coast, gathering materials in locations across the Southwest and painting landscapes. Over the next twenty years, I painted watercolor and then acrylic landscapes, sold monotypes and made tinwork niches with nudes and flower portraits. Bill focused on oil landscapes, then sumi-e.
Then, at last, I arrived at abstraction!
Bill and I were like two peas and had a true “art life” with its attendant fat and lean times. We were committed to hard work and a belief that our lives as artists would just work out somehow if we were true to it. We were nourished by late dinners with classical music and conversation about Eastern philosophies and the metaphysical.
Five years ago at almost eighty-five, William moved to the field of souls. I am now seventy-seven and alone. My days are filled with good friends and lively conversation. I’m continually growing my art and learning new ways for our new world. I call this last chapter “Dancing with Infinity.” I am still drawn to explore the big themes and questions about life and reality. My innate curiosity keeps me looking forward to each day.
I am grateful always. I am living my dream.
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