Influenced primarily by John Singer Sargent and Mary Cassatt, Kansas City-based painter Marcia Streepy enjoys the challenges of "plein air," or outdoor, painting. Her work depicts scenes of the natural world and city life painted on location. Whether she is applying oil paint, pastels, watercolors or pen and ink, the main hallmark of Streepy’s work is her use of vibrant color and light, which she says is motivated more by the “spirit of the object” than the realistic form of what she is trying to capture on the canvas.
Please introduce yourself. How long have you been a painter?
I am a Modern American Impressionistic Painter, according to one client. I have been painting almost daily since 1965. I painted and illustrated school papers, did posters for games, did a mural for extra money all before I went to college. Once in college, I took all the art classes I could while obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Painting is my passion. Nursing was my career.
I am married and have two daughters and two grandchildren. My mother was a fulltime artist who gave me inspiration. One significant factor in my life is that at age 12 I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and then lupus at age 30, so I have had times in my life when painting was very therapeutic.
Talk about the works currently on display at the Leawood Pioneer Library. What would you like people to know about them?
The two 60”x 60” paintings at Pioneer Library were done at the InterUrban Arthouse as memory paintings from the many plein-air paintings I have done in the Flint Hills of Kansas. The two smaller paintings are plein-air paintings done during the Brush Creek plein-air event and Kansas City Parks and Recreation event. The vertical painting of trees was done as an experiment in changing the horizon line to the top of the canvas. The backyard scene is so typical of the ordinary lonely back yards in winter. I hope the people who see my work at the library enjoy the color and vibrancy of the work and will able to relate to the beautiful Kansas sky. Maybe they will recognize the pond at the discovery center and the utility mobile unit for the parks department.
If interested in seeing more of my work contact the artist or visit the InterUrban Arthouse.
Describe your creative process. How long does it typically take for you to complete a painting?
My creative process is first observing, looking at the world and selecting what interests me. Sometimes I see light on an object or the atmosphere of a scene that inspires me to try to courageously paint not knowing if the painting will be what I hope it will be. Second, practice and more practice which helps me develop the skill to paint on paper or canvas. Changing mediums helps me be more creative. I like to use watercolors, pastels, oils and acrylics. If someone asks me about starting a career as an artist, I tell them to buy a sketch book and continually draw. Inspiration comes from doing.
How long does it take to finish a painting? I think all my paintings help develop the next painting, so to be truthful, each painting has taken me about 55 years and four weeks to complete.
What books, movies and/or music have inspired you recently?
The books about other artists such as the impressionist or post-modern American, French or Swedish artists are inspiring. I enjoy studying individual artists work more than the step by step art books. I am in three book clubs and read every evening. I enjoy novels, historical or biographical and children’s literature. The most recent art book that I purchased is “Fishing For Elephants” by Larry Moore.
The most recent movie I saw was “Mary Poppins Returns”. I thought the opening scenes were so artistic and I loved the scenes taken from the special bowl because the illustrated clothing was so fun on the actors.