Artist Diggs: Angel’s Haven

30 Aug

Please enjoy this oldie by goodie while I spend the next two weeks camping, packing, visiting with the mom-in-law and moving from WA to OR. See you in September!

There are people and by people, I mean artists, whose life and art are so intertwined that almost everything in their life looks like their artwork.  Maribel Angel is one of those people and I mean that in the best possible sense.  The minute I drove up to her home & studio in St. Augustine, Florida, I knew I was in for a treat.

Maribel’s home & studio, which she shares with her husband, Cash, dog Miss Hannah and three cats, is on a quiet street removed from the bustle of tourists in downtown St. Augustine.  Entering through a green gate with a little bell,  I am greeted with a hug from the artist and meow from possibly the friendliest cat ever, Lulu. 

Trimmed in bright colors reminiscent of her paintings, the house, studio and workshop are like sweet little dollhouses.  Maribel and Cash purchased the property, which faces a lovely canal where Lulu loves to beg for attention from joggers, as a fixer upper and have done most of the work themselves over the years.  It is apparent that this is a place created with love.

Let’s go into the studio.

Sunlight streams through the windows, filling the diminutive studio with light and warmth. 

Every artist’s studio needs a comfy chair.  A place where an artist can curl up with a cup of coffee and read or dream about where inspiration will take them next.  Finished artwork or works in progress are all around the studio– like these sweet little horse paintings ( below ), which were big sellers during the MOCA Studio Tour a few weeks ago. 

The studio floors are reclaimed hardwood, which came from a local horse barn.  Maribel theorizes that perhaps the floors are subconsciously leading her to paint horses!  Whatever the cause, these equestrian inspired pieces are hard to resist.  However, I am even more in love with a new series Maribel is working on– inspired by the Anthropologie catalog! 

I told Maribel how much I loved these and when she told me her inspiration source, I was downright gleeful!  There is just something about Anthropologie that we artsy girls love.  Ask anyone who has ever been in one with me.  I get this joyous, glazed over look in my eye, which I’m sure is very similar to the look I had upon leaving Maribel’s.

On the opposite side of the room, are the quintessential elements of any artist’s studio– easel, work table and of course, stacks of works in progress.   See the horses?  I think the floors are working their magic. 

Ever wonder how Maribel creates those wonderful, collaged layers in her work?  First, she makes a color copy of the inspiration source, whether it be a textile pattern, page from a book or other ephemera, then soaks the copy in a medium solution which allows her to peel the transparent image from the paper.  The transparency allows for background paint and other elements to show through and using this instead of the paper itself will be more permanent and chemically stable. 

I can’t wait to try this out on my own.. I already have a few ideas!  If only I was as prolific as Maribel.. there is artwork and inspiration everywhere you turn in her studio.

Don’t you love the rustic window paned doors?  Maribel has definitely created a space that warms the heart and nurtures the soul.  I was there for less than an hour and came home incredibly inspired and ready to create!  I hope our visit to Maribel’s studio has done the same for you.

To see more of Maribel’s artwork, visit her Pick of the Crop page here at Artsy Forager or drop by her own website.

5 Responses to “Artist Diggs: Angel’s Haven”

  1. Emily April 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    Lesley, what a great post! I love Maribel, she is such a sweetheart. Had the pleasure of getting to know her while she & Brian were in the same gallery a few years back. Love seeing her new work and her home/studio too…thanks!

    • Lesley April 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

      Thanks, Emily! I’ve always loved her work and as I’ve gotten to know her better, that has made me appreciate her work even more. A sweet, sweet soul!

  2. Kenneth Hamilton April 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    That is cool, a very nice place.

  3. Shelley April 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    Great article… it is neat to see the space where a creative person works. She is great! I love the horses. Question: for the xerox transfer, when you say she “soaks the copy in a medium solution”, is that solution a secret? I have tried turpentine before, but it stinks and frankly doesn’t work that well.

    • Lesley April 28, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

      Hey Shelley! The medium solution isn’t a secret and Maribel showed me a couple of mediums that she uses, but honestly, I couldn’t remember the names! I know that one was a Liquitex medium, but not sure if it was gel, gloss, slow dri, etc.. I’ll try to find out from her! ( I obviously haven’t tried it yet myself.🙂 )

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