Marianne Fyda, Former President
I live in Troutville, a small farm town. Our front yard Is on "Main Street", our back porch faces our neighbors farms, fields, animals, and whatever weather is coming our way. My husband and I have lived here since 1976, our kids grew up here. I grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and benefitted from a wonderful art teacher in the Detroit Public Schools, followed by others in suburban schools. I attended and graduated from Wayne State University with a bachelor of Fine Arts degree, a major in drawing....a totally impractical degree. I also met my husband there in a drawing class. We established an art related business, The Peaceable Kingdom, art supplies and custom picture framing that continues yet. I established my own art studio in 1988, Marianne Fyda's Studio, a place for creating personal work and teaching art classes. I still have my studio. I teach drawing, watercolor, pastels, calligraphy and do all kinds of freelance art that comes my way. In teaching, I always put a strong emphasis on drawing, on values, light source, composition and color. I really learned the ropes on still life. When I joined the Central Pa Pastel Society and began taking workshops from famous pastelists, I followed my desire for the landscape and began to find my way into the vistas that surround us. I like to find a place that speaks to me, I am most successful if I work on a series of paintings of one subject. Revisiting, reinterpreting, simplifying, squeezing all of what I can learn from each painting. "The Elements" is now a series of nine, with more coming. I look for dynamic compositions, lighting, atmosphere, depth, movement. I begin each piece with mounted Wallis paper, or UART paper. I sketch in the compositional elements, the horizontals, verticals, diagonals; I look for the darks, the patterns, the colors. Sometimes I begin with an underpainting, using watercolor, oil paint, or the pastels themselves mixed with rubbing alcohol....this can jump start the painting. I like to work on a piece for 30 minute intervals at a time, stopping to reevaluate, photograph the process, and sometimes rotate to another piece in the series. I do this so that I can keep 100% of my concentration on what I am doing. I want to be totally wrapped up in the process, not just spinning my wheels. I will take as many 30 minutes intervals as I need to finish a piece. I want each piece to remain fresh. I want to continue down this path learning from each piece and never exactly knowing where I am going. Each piece must be a "voyage of discovery," a gentle meander to the place in the picture. I have been influenced by many artists, and I love to look at art work in books, museums, etc. Learning about the artists has been a comfort and help to me, and it makes me feel that I am part of a much bigger picture than I could hope to find alone.