Columbus resident Marilyn J. Brackney fell in love with making art from marbled paper and fabric 30 years ago, after taking a marbling class at ArtColumbus, a local art organization. The technique interested her so much, she began reading about and experimenting with the medium on her own.
Today, the professional artist saves even the smallest scraps of paper or loose pieces of fabric to use in making her colorful, marbled collages.
“Rather than marbling pieces using static patterns that any trained person could make, my collages are more creative, and they distinguish my work from that of others,” Marilyn says. “I enjoy experimenting with different colors and patterns. I also enjoy experimenting with the stone pattern to create abstract work.”
Marilyn says her Hoosier roots taught her to be very frugal, just like her Indiana ancestors who saved scraps of cloth to make quilts. Living in southern Indiana most of her life also affected her artistic outlook, she says, especially being surrounded by beautiful architecture in a community like Columbus.
“It’s raised my standards of craftsmanship, taught me to think creatively, and inspired me to take risks with my art,” Marilyn says.
Each marbled work is one-of-a-kind. Some marbling patterns can be duplicated, but two completed pieces will never be the same. “I find every completed piece to be a happy surprise,” she says.
The former public school art teacher has a bachelor’s degree in art education and a master’s degree in psychology from Indiana State University. She continues to teach the artform of marbling in small, private classes in her Columbus studio.
“I want to learn more about my contemporaries who create art and fine crafts in the Hoosier state, and as an Indiana Artisan I hope to learn how to better market my work,” she says.
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