Marilyn Bedford SWJ 2020

Artist image


I was born in Los Angeles, living there until moving to Olympia almost twenty-five years ago. I came to art late when a neighbor asked if I would go with her to a painting class at our local Parks and Recreation Department. This was the beginning of a degree in Drawing and Painting and a Secondary Teaching Credential in Art. I taught art in the Long Beach Unified School District.

I am currently a member of the arts groups WAM (Women Art Makers) in California and TAG in Olympia.


Light and space are important; along with line, color, and shape.

I usually work in small series, often of everyday objects that catch my attention.

Primarily painting in acrylic, I often begin a painting using a watered-down acrylic wash or soft vine charcoal. The charcoal lines can easily be wiped away and redrawn; a different color wash over the first can be used in the same way. Painting over a painting previously abandoned is a favorite way to start, giving me something to which to respond. Remnants of earlier color or line are often left.


The landscape and architecture are my primary influences.  

Other influences include art here in Olympia, online, as well as images seen on television.

Artists I’ve long admired are Guston, Matisse, Mitchell, Twombly, and Diebenkorn.

Guston for his brushwork, limited palette, figurative invention, honesty, humor.

Matisse for color, his drawings, papercuts, and his exquisite chapel.

Mitchell for her color and gutsy marks.

Twombly for his use of space, collage, as well as how he incorporated language.

Diebenkorn for his brushwork, drawings, and especially his still lifes.

“Do I really believe that? I make a mark, a few strokes, I argue with myself, not do I like or not, but is it true? Is that what I mean, is that what I want?”

Philip Guston