All I Have is Who I am …. Marelle Couture Monday, Jul 20 2020 

All I Have is Who I am …. Marelle Couture

I wrote that, again with my trusty Papermate, on the visor of my old car.  My father had left it to me on his death bed.  In fact, car, was the last word he spoke.  I never got to see him before he died, I was far too ill.  In fact I had been bed ridden for most of the last several years before he passed.  Many of my pieces were created from the comfort of my recliner.  Where there is a will there is a way is something I live by.

I ran an exhibit years ago.  It was a tactile touching experience for the blind to view art in their unique way.  I wrote about it a little bit in my blog post, The Hopscotch Hands on Exhibit for the Blind.  During the set up of my show with the Blind Boys of Alabama , I was taken to the hospital in Wayne NJ.  The van with all the art work in it was left in the Toys R Us parking lot on Route 46 in Totowa.  I made it all the way from Pennsylvania.  I wasn’t feeling well for a long time and had no idea how sick I really was.  The doctor diagnosed me with endocarditis and I was admitted.  It is a very serious heart infection.  Jinxed again, dammit, What to do? I was lucky at that time to have some help.  My brother and his friends got the van and the art work and set up the show.  It was rather funny.  I was on the phone with my brother, the auto mechanic, and he was asking what pieces went with what title cards.  I would describe the painting and they played match game as they set it all up.  God, I miss New Jersey.

My treatment would be 6 weeks of IV antibiotics and bed rest for the duration.  The Bergen Performing Arts Center made room for my show just for the Blind Boys of Alabama and I was honored.  The wait to get in there is very long.  So it surprised me that they asked if they could continue the show for an additional 6 weeks.  Just the time I needed to recover.  Oh, God is so good.  I finally got to see the show when I went to pick up the pieces that didn’t see.  Some of the abstract ones were hung upside down.  It was fantastic and I still consider it my greatest show.

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3D Marilyn Monroe (from the Hopscotch Hands on Exhibit for the Blind)

So here I am starting out with nothing and the desire to paint is so strong.  I love doing murals and painting furniture but I am talking about painting now.  Free flowing gone in the mind and creating in a place the exists not in space or time.  I am talking about my great escape … Fine Art.

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Fashion Week – mixed media

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Pink Dress – mixed media

What to do? With my little paint box and my notebook I just started painting.  Wild, free; bold and angry, mostly. It’s therapeutic and really who cares what it is painted on.  While painting I remembered a Wall Street broker who left his job, moved to the Poconos and started painting landscapes on paper bags.  They were so beautiful.

You can see his work here.  Artist Ed Lopez  What people don’t realize is that some of my most coveted pieces were actually done on cardboard.

Waiting for everything you need is such a waste of time.  I have been waiting for several years just to get back to work.  Now, here I am and the act of painting is just what I need right now.  Gotta get it down and out.  Because I am so angry, such a wasted emotion has set up camp in my yard.

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The Angry Painting

Why so angry you may wonder?  Well, the time came for me to renew my website.  My daughter and I created it in Las Vegas while we were staying in a shelter.  They had a computer lab and we wasted no time.  It really is lovely and funds were given to me to turn it on.  But what I found out is some asshole stole my domain name.  Some brokerage company has purchased it. Someone said it was a compliment that they thought it valuable enough to invest in it.   WT literal F.  I can bid on it and then every year bid again and again and on an on.  So many years and so much work for someone else to hold my reins.  Fuck!

My website

I’m trying to publish my website and someone actually suggested starting anew.  This same person told me to change my name years ago.  I wonder if they would have told that to Tina Turner, who absolutely knew the worth of her name.  I doubt it.

Tina Turner

I’m not lying down and I am not bidding on what is mine.  I am Marelle Couture.  Watch what I do.

To be continued…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shine on You Crazy Diamond Saturday, Jul 18 2020 

Shine on You Crazy Diamond

Thought many of you could relate to the feeling of trying to get your point or idea heard and don’t know why others don’t see your vision.  It is so clear in your head, how can they not see it? I really thought everyone could and did think this way, in pictures.  Already in your mind for you to pull up when needed.

Welcome Mozart

I have been called crazy many many times, perhaps you have too, so many have.  In high school that was the first word of my nickname.  Sigh….  However, never ever have I ever been called stupid.  I have felt the sting of instant dislike but not due to lack of intelligence just an immediate look of hate before one word is even spoken.  Sometimes you wonder if they smelled you coming or something.  It can make even the most confident doubt oneself.  The perception of others.  Why does it even matter??

(If you ever ever doubt yourself due to another persons’ perception of you, please watch this lil link below it just might change your view of things.)

A Hater’s gonna hate.

Sometimes what you get is a surprise. God Has a unique purpose about such things. Talent you are born with is really a gift from God. Be glad he loaned it to you. What ever it may be, you could be ahead of your time.  You just never know.  Better to keep going and see what becomes then regret what never took place at all.  Doubt = Evil

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Perhaps your like my father and prefer to watch Scooby Doo or Tom and Jerry to attending even one more MENSA meeting. He knew what he was and didn’t feel the need to take the ego root. Instead he read and read and read and read some more.  I am certain he is up in Heaven siting next in a cozy chair reading a book.

 

Voice of God

And as far as your haters go, keep going they already look ridiculous you don’t need to point it out.  Never stop perhaps your moment has yet to come.

 

ONWARD and Shine  …….  Shine on Crazy Diamond

The Little Paint Box Saturday, Jul 18 2020 

The Little Paint Box

The compulsion to create is always present.  A simple window shopping experience can relay into a million plus visuals that are put away for another time.  You can imagine how many visuals several years on the road can provide.  So, as we settle in our new home I set to task some artwork.  It is a simple little table someone gave us and my Papermate Pen worked well on the surface.  I drew what I call tattoos.  Little illustrations like the ones in the Pretty Prison Letters. pppl

When my daughter woke up the next day I showed her my lil table.  She smiled and said it was real nice.  However, what she really thought was it was sad that all I had was a pen.  She didn’t have much money but she used some of it to get me a little acrylic paint set, it came with two little brushes.  She bought it just for the table.  I hadn’t considered putting color on it, I have never colored on any of my tattooed pieces.  I also never did them on furniture before.  I just really liked the look on clothing and purses.  I have no idea what happened to these but I thought they looked pretty.

tattoo jeansb

That night while she was sleeping I started to paint on that table and I am delighted with the results.  I am sure I will be adding to it as time goes on….like I said, it is compulsory.

I did something else with this little box of paints.  I made myself a faux headboard and during the process I realized something.  While I may not be able to purchase anything right now, I certainly can paint whatever I want where I want it.  A B-52 bomber right above my bed there.  Heck I could even have it attacking Mothra or something.  Not too many people can buy that.  I fucking love my mighty little box of paints.  Thank you Lamby!!!!

To  be continued when the B-52 is done.

Envy Thursday, Jul 16 2020 

A sexy sneaky little word that inevitably creeps up on all artists in all mediums and all forums.  There is not much you can do about it expect perhaps to recognize it sooner, if that is even possible.  The clues are sometimes subtle and other times right up in your face but still sometimes you are not sure why.

When I first moved to Pennsylvania I made some acquaintances and was displaying my work locally.  At one location my pieces were hung in the brand new show room along side some pretty sweet rides.  Before that showroom was even fully finished I had my pieces up.  Everyone was very happy with how it looked and all was well.  Except for the one guy, he was a real pill that one.  He started by insulting my work and really going out of his way to be rude.  I shrugged it off as he was having a bad day.  A few weeks later I stop in and the same man is escorting me to his office to show me his art from high school.  He had this stuff all over his work space.  Did he really hate my work? I doubt it but I don’t doubt the fact that he was envious that it was not his work up there.

      Cliffs-mixed media           Inside the Castle Walls

Nevertheless a girl has got to keep it moving….

This has happened a few times, if you read my posts you may have seen the B. Marlow scandal, talk about envy, geesh.  Onward now to Salt Lake City.  I was new to the area and staying in a shelter when I approached the gaming shop.  All I wanted was to paint and his windows were absolutely bare, he couldn’t afford anything.  Good, cause I wasn’t looking for money, just cover my supplies and tell me what you want in your window.  He chose a Pokemon theme for the first one.  It was just before Halloween and I knew the kids would love it, even the ones from the shelter.  Pokemon it is.  I picked up the paint and went to work.  During the time I was there one employee displayed that same rude behavior and even got the girl at the cafe to join in.  Oh they were such a delight.  They actually stole my tote with all the paint and brushes in it, tossed it into the dumpster.  I found that out much later.

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To make this shitty story shorter, the dude liked to draw, he did illustrations and had his own comic developing.  He did have his work displayed in the store and it was very very good.  I told the owner  someone should nominate him for a Geekie or at least have him self submit.  When I was nominated for my Black Queen the publicity was wonderful.  I really thought it would be a great opportunity for this guy to be seen.  He didn’t see it that way and actually decided to paint on the very next window I was to start.  It didn’t work out I really never got to see it and they covered it with a large board.  I don’t know why unless it wouldn’t come off, but things were getting really unruly and I just put my brush down.   Know when to walk away I say.

 The Black Queen on Geekie

I could give you more examples but they really are all similar.  Often times their talent is amazing but perhaps they don’t believe it or the opposite.  They believe they are so great that all eyes must be on them at all times.  You just gotta dodge em all, if only there were green.

The Envy

Relevant Relevant, it is not all Relevant Thursday, Jul 16 2020 

Relevant

The time has come to wake up the links.  They lie dormant with no where to land for years.  It is time to redirect them to the now.  They bounce you see back and forth all to get you to me.  Learning the madness of SEO and relevancy was no fun at all.  While in Salt Lake City I took some coding classes to improve my website.  The library there is amazing and offers free classes for all kinds of things.  These are one on one opportunities to learn from the in the know.  I took advantage of all I could.  I learned that even photos have a link behind them.

It takes quite a bit of left and right brain thinking to create and market well.  I often recommend getting the Artist Market book to get the low down on who is looking for what and how to submit your work to them.  It should be given to every student upon graduation from Art School.

artist market

So what is relevant? It means it must apply somehow to your content.  I can’t just add keywords willy nilly like and I don’t want to miss out on any opportunities either.  Here is the best example I have to take a link when you can, seize that opp.

Here I am with the lovely Lady Lisa Lampanelli.  The purse she is holding is not the one I created for her.  She held mine for the photo.

Me and Lisa

During one of my self searches I found the purse I gave to her years later on the North Shore Animal League website up for auction.  It was broken and the price was very low.  I posted it to let my clients know it was available and with my lifetime repair policy, I would repair it for the new owner.  I remember some fellow designers were upset at the price and how could she give it away and yada yada yada.  I saw it quite differently.  This was a major link to a large well known foundation I could use, for it was relevant.  What she did with the purse was her business and she decided to give it to help the furry ones.  You can’t fault her for that gesture.

Take the good with the bad you just never know what can happen.  When my Marilyn jacket was posted on the Regretsy site I thought it was fantastic.  Not everyone shared my opinion because it was meant to make fun of my work, however it actually led to it’s sale.  Not everyone shares the same opinion and the author of that blog stood alone on that hill.  I thanked them for roasting me, for I had a wonderful time making that sale.

Even the greatest personal tragedies can lead to some good.  It certainly doesn’t change what happened it just offers another path to go down.  Personally I like taking the scenic route.

Pretty Pretty Prison Letters Wednesday, Jul 15 2020 

Pretty Pretty Prison Letters – Dear Lady K.

During the years we were homeless we made many friends and acquaintances all over the country.  There are only a few I keep in touch with now.

During our stay in Las Vegas we were staying at one of the two shelters that would take in homeless women.  It was huge with about 50-60 women per room, bunk beds lined in a row.  And let me tell you, even for a Jersey girl who worked her first job in the S. Bronx, this place was rough.  Sleeping on the streets here a bit worse, so we finally got in.  You do expect the residence to be unruly but truly the staff is the horror here.  They seem to enjoy provoking and abusing the very people that are put in their charge.  Day after day it wears you down.  You become invisible or so it seems.

She was the equivalent of a school teacher from the Victorian area.  Her mannerisms, her carefully selected words even the way in which she would have a conversation with me.  She would always take my hand in hers and cover it with her other and we would sit and talk.  She was there when I cried in the stairwell of hell, with a knowing smile and words of God.  She was a true lady in the middle of all this horrible shit.  I never saw here without a smile on her face.

The last time I saw her we dropped her off at a friends home and she never returned to the shelter.  We knew nothing at all until that one night….

I was in my bunk when my daughter came to me distraught.  She told me my friend was on the news.  It took a minute to figure out who she was talking about.  And we don’t get the news here.  So I went to the source. The lady with the data on her phone, (a luxury when homeless).  And she showed it to me, it was one of those moments everything goes still and silent and all you hear is your heart pounding.  I had to look at it a few times.  It said she admitted her crime.

A few weeks earlier, her and I were talking in the computer lab and I told her how I had always wanted a pen pal.  Her being the very Victorian lady she is, she was excited at the prospect as well.  So it was decided then that we would write one another when we got settled in life again.  The way I see it she probably needs this far more than I do now.

So I set to task, writing the ultimate prison letters ever, lol.  There are so many drawings and stories packed in each one.  There is even a lot of hidden meanings and messages not meant for Lady K. at all.  For me it is a way to preserve my memories for my daughter.  Each letter is copied and kept safe for her.  For Lady K. it is an escape from her day to day existence, at least that is my hope.

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For my daughter, this is the story of her family I knew growing up.  For you see, when you become homeless family and friends all disappear.  We were and still are truly on our own.  This is how she will always remember how awesome my father  was and how GG use to play with Lou Costello when she was a little girl in Patterson NJ.  All those stories locked inside, the good and the bad written down for my Lamby.  When I have collected enough I will have Sir Dragosh create the book they will all be kept in.  His work is glorious.

Sir Dragosh’s Work

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As I drew the illustrations I listed to music on the head phones and put the songs I was listening to into the pictures.  I even started a game of tic tac toe once.  Each letter is about 20 pages on both sides and full of life and lives.  Those lived and lost along the way.

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Being in a home means so many things to us.  Now I am finally in a position to receive a letter back from Lady K.  I will let you know when that happens.  For now I am content to just write them for her and my Lamby.

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To be continued…….

 

Starting Over Once Again Monday, Jul 13 2020 

Where to begin again?  My mind is full of all the things I need to do, the people I need to contact and the invitations I need to address.  How does one accept an invitation to a fashion show in Greece or Milan with no work to show.  Even if language was not a barrier do I even wish to explain?  What happened to it all??  No I don’t.


My ideas have always come from within and above, yet with no supplies this is a tough sell even for me.  I have no choice, this is what I do.  It was a gift God trusted me to have and I mustn’t waste it.  So, I lost my son and two homes to black mold, my business and then my way.  It has been over 6 years living homeless for me and my daughter.  Our lives on hold for what felt like an eternity.  Friends and family long gone lost in our sorrow never to return again.  And the abuse all homeless people are subjected to has taken a great toll.  For my sanity, for my security, and for my spirituality I will make this work somehow.  God grant me great strength as I start my climb up this hill.   Supplies, supplies, my kingdom for supplies.

Marelle 7/13/2020

What Happened to Marelle Couture…….. Sunday, Nov 18 2018 

roar

As I stand in the parking lot of our latest hotel, I see the mural I painted so long ago. My son was just an infant, and the mural is quite faded. The pub closed down but still stands, a piece of me, my art on the wall I painted while caring for a piece of my heart: My baby Korey.

I left this place long ago for the color of his skin was an issue back then. Some say time passes so fast, yet as I stand there, I feel it doesn’t pass fast enough. I write this not to draw pity or sympathy. This starving artist simply wants others to know how easily one can fall. I worked very hard and supported both of my children with my art. Murals all over North Jersey.

Then came the time I fell so ill, it was my heart beating disconnected from my body. A miracle, still. After moving to P.A. was the only affordable way to give my children a normal life. They never once went without, they never needed or wanted for anything. I worked very very hard despite my illness to give them the best because they were the best God ever gave to me.

And it finally hit me yesterday. While we’ve been moving place to place, it took a while to settle in. For you see, if your house burns down, crowds come around. It’s on the news, aid is there. If there’s a flooding, Red Cross and others try to help. But what happened to us was quite insidious indeed. It’s silent, it’s deadly, and it comes on a breeze. I tell this tale to many I see, and in doing so I have saved several lives indeed.

Black mold is a term that most people know. You may not see it or smell it, and it’s not always black, but it is by all means deadly poison. Symptoms vary from person to person. Chronic sinus infections for some, rheumatoid arthritis for others. A state of severe physical panic, personality changes, the list goes on and on depending on the particular spore you endure. I just ask you all to look it up, for the person in your life that you think is a hypochondriac or is just looking for attention may actually be living in a house of black mold.

We lost everything once, and built back again, only to succumb to its poisonous friends. Now what we have we could carry in bags, and I have had enough. This time just lags. I’m not trying anymore, I’m going to let it be. God’s will. And see what He does with me. Fashion Weeks abroad and at home come and go, but your health when gone is something I hope none of you will ever know. Please educate yourself for your son, for your daughter may not have asthma at all. It could be the insidious within the wall.

…Marelle

We all have our favorites … Mes favoris absolus. Sunday, Nov 18 2018 

Some say an artist work is like one’s child.  Our pieces are our children.  I don’t know if I would go that far but I will say some of them are very hard to say good bye to.  Neck pieces, Crowns,  Handbags, Headpieces, Statement Bridal Accessories to name a few. So today I felt like reminiscing on some of my favorites.  Se souvenir de vous tous tendrement aujourd’hui.

Pink , Green and Gold fav colour.

Will Sunday, Nov 18 2018 

angela1

A simple little word, will, yet so hard to muster up at times.  Success is very temporary in the face of great tragedy.  After the death of my son our health continued to decline and eventually an air test revealed what was killing all of us on 59 Division Street.  Nothing could stop what happened and yet no one helped our inevitable loss of everything.  Even my sons’ ashes had to be discarded, contaminated.  We have worked very hard during it all; even sleeping on the streets didn’t deter our determination to find our way back to life.

http://www.marellecouture.com/

When an artist can not create he or she becomes depressed, when depressed an artist can not create.  Another Holiday season is upon us and I wish it to be the last spent in sadness.  My son took his life just before Christmas and my Birthday as well as his.

I am taking this miserable existence and turning it into a Christmas miracle.  We have already made the new website and am setting up the online shop.  It is difficult to ask for help but that is what I have had to do as of late.

There is always hope if you have the will to sustain it.  Will is a mighty word backed by great action if you have the courage to wield it.

Please never give up for if you are an artist you are in the company of God quite often, He whisperers ideas to you all the time.  His will.

Praying for a Miracle

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