About Marilyn Ruseckas

Marilyn Ruseckas in her Waitsfield VT Studio

I

was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1959. I grew up in Westborough and attended the School of the Worcester Art Museum, graduating in 1980. There I studied photography with a 35mm pinhole camera and infrared film in particular. The selenium toning and soft edges gave the work a romantic quality akin to the turn of the century works of Steichen and Steiglitz. For this portfolio I won the Kinnicutt Foreign Travel Award and took a trip to visit the art museums of Europe.

When I returned, I moved to the coast of Maine. There I began a work-study program at the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport. I had a darkroom, but my interest in photography waned as I started thinking more about drawing and painting. I sketched a portrait of Rockport Village from the steps of my darkroom in pastel and entered the piece in a local art exhibit. That drawing sold and became the transition that has led to almost exclusively working in pastel.

Now, I live in Warren, Vermont with my husband, Adam Whitney, and our dog, Timber. Adam is a certified arborist and together we own Whitney Tree Service. We have all the necessary equipment on site to provide full service tree care to our area. We renovated and winterized a spare garage where I have my art studio. It is a pleasure to have everything we need to be self-sufficient in one place.

I have been living in Vermont since 1989. During that time, I have had many interests and have worked many different jobs to augment the sporadic income in the profession of art. I have enjoyed gardening, landscaping, and baking to name a few, but one other profession became my biggest distraction - cycling (click here to read more about it). I have been racing bikes since 1992. Early on, I won four New England Mountain Bike Championship titles, (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000) and two UCI World Masters 40-45 MTB Championship titles, (1999, 2000). I held the overall women's record for three years, (1996, 1997, 1998) at the Mount Washington Hillclimb, a road bike race up the 7 mile auto road. Most recently, I won the 2009 US National Masters 50-55 Cyclocross Championship in Bend, Oregon and subsequently, the 2010 UCI Cyclocross Masters World Championship in Mol, Belgium.

Marilyn Ruseckas at Gallery Event

Pastel is a delicate medium and the word alone describes something soft and pale. But these are not the words I use to describe my palette. I like to push the medium towards rich and bold in both design and in color. The character of my work oscillates between realism and abstraction. It is based on a personal visual philosophy of color and design with landscape as a reference. By fusion of the concepts of realism and freedom of gesture, each piece becomes an illusion that the viewer can relate to as a place that might exist in a world of richer color and more abstract shapes than what is familiar.

Over the years and through many season changes, I see my artwork evolving, yet staying the same in some aspects. There is a vital coexistence between recurring imagery and all the different ways to express it. These things work together to make a body of work identifiable as mine. It keeps growing by adding new design elements and leaving behind old ones over time. One persistent common thread weaving through my work is a repetition of certain designs and color combinations. Repetition brings me gradually through transitions and on to the next development just by the natural way an artist never does the same thing twice exactly. Changes transpire within the series of decisions made in arranging elements so they can flow from one to another by placement and color. The best pieces emerge when a compilation of favorite shapes glow in perfect color harmony.

 

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