We recently connected with Marie Renfro and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Marie thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. I’m sure there have been days where the challenges of being an artist or creative force you to think about what it would be like to just have a regular job. When’s the last time you felt that way? Did you have any insights from the experience?
I have always been sure that I chose the right path for my life. I still love what I do and have the desire every day to see what I can go to my studio and work on finishing! Luckily, I have a very supportive husband and that has made my work even more rewarding.
I held a secretarial job for 4 years and took art classes at night or weekends. While I enjoyed my work it became apparent to me that I really loved the art classes more. So when I saw that I could quit that job I started teaching drawing lessons for children and adults in my garage. That was my first studio. I now have a larger studio in my backyard and I love teaching there.
The best thing that I can tell a student is “Don’t be afraid to fail, or, to experiment to find your own way of expression.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I knew from a young age that I loved color and creating pictures, so when I finished high school, I started taking art classes at the Oklahoma Museum of Art. Once I started the first class, I never looked to any other profession. When I moved to Texas, I started teaching classes in drawing and painting for children and adults. Those were exciting years for me as I watched them grow. I took numerous workshops from artists who would come to Dallas from all over the United States. After a while I decided that I would like to attend college and earn a degree in Fine Arts. I was near 40 years old but finished with a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting and a minor in ceramics.
During this time, I joined 7 other women artists and opened a Cooperative Gallery which we ran for 21 years. It was a hard job to attend college and work in the Gallery, but it worked nicely for me. When I finished my degree, I also began to teach classes for a nearby college. My life was very busy but filled with stimulation.
Question not found
My teaching philosophy is that as a teacher I should give my students all the creative energy I can and also encourage them as much as possible.
I love their enthusiasm as they grow and get better at their craft. I love my work and I think they can tell that I do.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
I have for the last 30 years led a group of women artists to the Texas Hill Country to paint for a week trip. We rent studios at the Hill Country Arts Foundation and each artist has her space to create her work during that time. A number of us have been doing it for the entire 30 years. It is so inspiring to be surrounded by the creative energy of each artist and to see each one’s different approach to their work.
I paint almost every day as I have a studio behind my home with plenty of space to create. I will be having a show in Sept. at an Art Centre nearby so my work that I am producing now will go into that. I like to have plenty of pieces to choose from when they hang the show.
I feel that my choice of being involved with the life of art was the exact right choice for me. I haven’t any regrets.
- Website: marierenfro.com
- Instagram: marie renfro
- Facebook: Marie Renfro