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Mood changes hues

Watercolorist Marie Burdick paints subjects and colors depending on the mood she’s in at the time.

When she feels subdued, she opts for greens and browns for subjects like mountain landscapes. If her mood swings to upbeat, she pulls out a painting of surfers on the beach and switches to hues of reds and yellows.

“I usually have a dozen paintings going at one time,” she said. “I don’t know if all artists are like this. A lot of my friends are more disciplined and finish one before they start another.”

Six of her paintings are included in a group show “For the Love of Painting” presented by a group called Studio 10 Artists at the Creative Arts Center Gallery.


Having a few painting in progress is not unusual for members of the group, said Laura Long who organized the exhibition.

“We all kind of do that, too, start a painting and maybe two months later, go back to it,” she said. “Sometimes, you get a little burned out.”

Burdick is a very creative painter, Long said, and she does a lot of landscapes, especially desert scenes in Sedona and Mesa Verde.

“She’s good,” Long said. “She’s very loose with her approach to painting. I do more realistic scenes. Hers would be more Impressionistic.”


Her colors aren’t anything out of the ordinary, Long added. She stays within the realistic realm.

Burdick has a relaxed feel to her paintings, said Glendale resident Frances Santistevan, gallery director.

“What I enjoy most about Marie’s art is the ‘looseness’ of her work,” Santistevan said. “It’s colorful and exciting yet appears to have been ‘casually’ done. It’s bold yet comfortable and relaxing.”

Burdick grew up in Burbank and attended Mingay Elementary School and Luther Burbank Middle School through the ninth grade. She now lives in Chatsworth, where the Studio 10 Artists meet to paint together once a week at Renee’s Art Studio.

Burdick didn’t start painting until she was an adult in the 1970s, she said. Her husband traveled a lot and it was a way to enjoy three hours of adult time away from the kids, she said.

She started out with oil painting portraits of people and animals and landscapes and seascapes.

After taking a break from painting she took a five-day watercolor class in Cambria in the mid-1990s and was inspired, she said.

“Watercolor had a loose, transparent quality that I really liked so that’s what attracted me to watercolors,” she said.


She started painting plein air in 1998, she said.

“I went to paint at locations like Morro Bay, Cambria and Sedona,” she said.

She continues to paint landscapes and portraits and some still lifes.

Of the six paintings in the Creative Arts Center show, she said her favorite painting is called “Ruthie.” It’s of a woman Burdick met in an art workshop in Utah.

“She was 65 or 68, it’s hard to imagine the age, a black woman with great cheekbones holding her wide brimmed hat wearing bangle bracelets,” Burdick said. “She was just so photogenic.”

It took Burdick two years to finally paint the picture.

“I’ve painted her wearing a straw hat and blue shirt,” she said. “The green background represents the trees and plants and things surrounding us at the time. We were at a side road looking at some old farmhouse sitting near the street.”