"All my paintings come down to a simple issue- in this case a seesaw balance between one thing and another. And as far as I’m concerned, the simpler the issue, the better. When a work becomes too descriptive, too much involved with what’s actually out there, then there’s nothing else going on in the painting, and it dies on you."
A Visual Journey
Marisa Repeta was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has been drawing and painting since childhood. She comes from a family of visual artists and musicians, and therefore, her passion for art was always encouraged. She was raised in Maryland, near Washington D.C., and remembers many trips to the art museums there. From an early age, she developed an attachment to artists such as Picasso, Klee, Mondrian, Matisse, and Degas. She studied art formally at Barnard College, Columbia University, in New York City. There she took a variety of art classes, including: life drawing, painting from the figure, and printmaking. Upon graduating, she won a scholarship to study art in France. Repeta lived in France for one year and attended L’Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Strasbourg, where she continued studying art, concentrating on painting the figure and drawing from observation. While in Europe, she also had the opportunity to travel and visit many great museums and famous landmarks. She was particularly inspired by the beauty of colors in the stained glass in the many cathedrals in Europe; this inspiration continues to influence her to this day.
When Repeta returned to the United States, she attended the Massachusetts College of Art, in Boston, Massachusetts, receiving her BFA and art teaching certification. While at Mass Art, she studied primarily with Dean Nimmer and Dan Kelleher. She graduated with honors and won a scholarship to return to Europe to paint there again. Since that time, Repeta has returned to France and Italy numerous times, studying the masters, and traveling to explore and paint the landscape. While living in Boston, she taught art at a private high school and at the Museum of Fine Arts. She also began showing her work as a gallery member at the Cambridge Artist’s Cooperative in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In the past years, Repeta has continued to study the techniques of professional artists, working with, among others: Doug Dawson, Cynthia Packard, and Brenda Horowitz.
Currently, Marisa Repeta lives in Falmouth, Massachusetts, with her husband and two children. She has shown her work in various galleries in Falmouth, Provincetown, and Boston. Last Spring, Repeta had a one person show at Susan Sargent, on Newbury Street in Boston. Presently, her work is on permanent display at Susan Sargent’s Vermont location, in Manchester. She is also represented by Diana Levine Fine Art, located at the Boston Design Center.
My paintings reflect my love of color. My work has an abstract quality, although it is based on observation. I paint the essence of what I see through the use of expressive color, composition, and brushstrokes.
About My Process
When I start a painting, my inspiration often starts with colors that I see in nature. I am drawn to combinations of colors that I want to paint- for example, a warm yellow orange combined with blue and violet, or a pale pink combined with a bluish grey. It is not so much the subject that matters to me as far as representing it in a traditional way. The subject becomes a vehicle for my expression of color and composition. As I work, I change the location of the subject until it fits in the space on the canvas in an interesting way. It needs to create a relationship with the edges of the canvas and create interesting negative shapes in the background.
I like to keep a sense of mystery in my paintings. That is why they are not too representational. I think it is this abstract quality that allows a viewer to contemplate and to live with the painting. I often work on a painting for weeks or months, building up the colors as I let the layers dry. As I build up the colors, the colors underneath are very important in creating a sense of depth. Part of my process also involves allowing a painting to sit for a while before finishing it so that I can look at it objectively. I am bold with changes if something is not working, even if it means ultimately ruining the painting. Creating unsuccessful paintings is an important part of my process because I always learn from them. I believe that I cannot be afraid while painting; it is this boldness that surprises me in the end and makes me fall in love with the work.