Anne Neilson Fine Art has been itching in anticipation to reveal its newest exhibition, UNSEEN for local Charlotte artist, Marcy Gregg. Marcy has been an integral part of ANFA since its inception in 2014 and we are beyond excited to showcase her exceptional talent on view in the gallery now. After months of hard work and determination, Marcy has created a brand new body of work consisting of over thirty new paintings. UNSEEN is a collection of work that explores Marcy’s intimate process; the writing of a hidden message across the canvas as the inspiration from which she paints. While this foundation will forever be unseen, the process and end-result will remain, challenging her viewers to dig deep, discovering meaning and life within. Keep reading our conversation with Marcy below to learn more about the artist and what drives the creativity and inspiration behind her exquisite work.
Name: Marcy Gregg
Hometown: Jasper, TX
Currently Living: Charlotte, NC
Is there a recurring theme in your solo exhibition? If so, how did you choose it?
The emphasis in all the paintings is line work and color. As for the theme, ultimately it became about what is unseen: the Scripture boldly written on the raw canvas which is unseen once the painting is completed and the line work in each painting which subtly appears and disappears leaving room for the viewer to interpret what is being seen.
Do you have a favorite painting in the show?
Asking me to name a favorite painting in the show is sort of like asking which of my three children are my favorite – I love them all for different reasons. I love the blue of “Seeking” that is featured on the invitation, and I love the diptych “Revealed I” and “Revealed II” because of the amount of energy in the line work.
What is the hardest and the most rewarding part about preparing for a solo exhibition?
By far the hardest part is the constant creativity required to produce the number of paintings needed for a solo show. The most rewarding part is the day I stepped back and they were all done. To be able to see all those paintings, over a year’s worth of time in front of the canvas, finally completed is so fulfilling.
Have you ever done a solo exhibition before? Is so, what kind of atmosphere do you strive to create for the viewer’s of your work?
I have done two solo exhibitions before. I want the viewer to be pulled in by the work, to be engaged, to bring their own thoughts and perspectives to what they are seeing for the first time.
When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?
I started my career about 11 years ago. But as for wanting to be an artist—pretty much my entire life I guess—I majored in Studio Art at SMU beginning my freshman year.
Describe your aesthetic in three words:
Edgy, colorful, hidden
Describe your artistic process and preparation?
My early morning scriptural reading and meditation dictate the theme of each painting. When I find a verse that resonates with me, it then becomes the first thing I paint on the blank canvas—usually in red, always big and bold. It’s the heart of the painting, as well as the foundation of the title once the work is complete.
Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?
A painting I did in 2014, titled New Beginnings. The reason? Because it just happened. I was totally in the zone; and from beginning to end the painting almost seemed to create itself. It was the first time I painted on a larger canvas and used line work—as the title suggested at the time, although I didn’t know it, it really was a new beginning for me as an artist.
Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?
I am inspired by people that I encounter in my day who I know have a hard life and in spite of their circumstances, they choose joy.
Biggest accomplishment to date?
I married off 3 kids in 5 months – that’s definitely my biggest accomplishment this year!
What is your studio like?
I have a second-floor studio at Dilworth Artisan Station. It’s full of light, with high ceilings and a cool warehouse vibe. Every day when I unlock my door and smell the paint, I immediately get a rush. I get excited every time, even when I’m painting six days a week, 6-8 hours a day.
A random fact about you:
At one time we had two greyhounds, both of who had been rescued from the race track.
Favorite place to vacation? And dream trip?
Italy – no question. I went for the first time last year so it is my favorite and it is also my future dream trip. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
What are you currently reading?
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis.
“The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis
What are you currently listening to?
Being from Texas, I love Hill Country music by artist like Robert Earl Keen but I am also inspired by praise and worship music.
Robert Earl Keen
What would you be doing if you were not an artist?
I probably would still be teaching seminars in corporate America which I did for over ten years prior to starting my career as an artist.
One thing you couldn’t live without?
My morning quiet time. I’m a very early riser, and I love the silence and solitude at the beginning of each day.
If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?
I would love to be head of a foundation that could give money and resources to missionaries and other worthy organizations around the world. That would be awesome!
Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?
Cezanne. I love his colors and his line work.
Paul Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire, 1887, Courtaud Institute of Art
All commissions are dreams. Because when you hand a commission off to someone and they’re happy with it—it’s the best! As an artist my dream is always to make the buyer of my paintings happy – and being able to do that is awesome.
Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the 5 years.
I’d love to have some West Coast collectors of my work. It would be a privilege to know my paintings were all across the continental US.
What do you want your audience to know about your work?
I deliberately lose portions of the lines in the process of painting the canvas. I draw a line and then paint over parts of it so that the lines—both those seen and unseen—become a critical part of the painting itself. My hope is that through the line work the viewer is able to find an unexpected perspective.
Check out some of Marcy’s new work below!
Always Heard, 24×24
Cast Away, 48×48
Paths Shown, 40×40
What We Do Not See, 60×40