Featured Artist Marli Thibodeau

Abstract expressionist painter Marli Thibodeau finds inspiration in nature and the experience of presence. View more of her portfolio by visiting her website.


abstract painting by Marli Thibodeau

“Emergence” acrylic and drawing media on canvas, 18” x 24”


I live and work on the coast of Maine with my husband and two Maine Coon Cats, and create art full-time.


abstract painting by Marli Thibodeau

“Color Song II” acrylic on canvas, 10” x 10”


As an artist, I study movement and the energy of life. I’m fascinated by the feeling of aliveness, hoping to be in the body, in the space between people and all around us in nature. This is my work as an abstract expressionist.


abstract painting by Marli Thibodeau

“The Alchemy Of Listening” acrylic on canvas, 52” x 48”


These different qualities of movement and aliveness infuse my work as an abstract artist. Rather than a plan or an idea of what to paint, I start by listening so I can feel what is present. My first marks are the beginning of a dialog that continues, sometimes for a few days, sometimes longer.


abstract painting by Marli Thibodeau

“Unforgettable” acrylic on canvas, 52” x 44”


For me, artmaking is an inquiry into the present moment, which may include distant memories or dreams. The way I make this inquiry is by listening. What is here, what is present? What am I feeling inside? I choose materials based on what appeals to me in the moment. What am I hungry for? What is the surface asking for? These prompts are my guide and my way in.


abstract painting by Marli Thibodeau

“Passionate Symphony IV” acrylic on canvas, 20″ x 20″


I then move deeper into allowing what wants to unfold. Sometimes this looks like fast gestures, other times it is slower, and this is how I build up layers in my work. Allowing for what is real, what is present, can take the work into awkward and uncomfortable territory, where the painting doesn’t look like the masterpiece we imagined—familiar territory for any artist.


abstract painting by Marli Thobodeau

“Something Is Happening Here” acrylic and drawing media on paper, 22” x 30”


This is the point where I practice the art of remaining open. Open to the direction the painting wants to go. Open to the clues that are showing up in the work. Becoming curious about what wants to be said, and where we want to go. This requires a great deal of trust—trust in the work, trust in the process, and trust in myself.


abstract painting by Marli Thibodeau

“Carrying Place” acrylic on canvas, 23” x 23”


If I can stay with it, more often than not, a sense of resolution begins to be known, and we—the painting and myself—begin to move towards completion. Some paintings never get there, many arrive for now, and some are very clearly complete with our dance in the studio, ready to move into the world.


abstract painting by Marli Thibodeau

“Luminous” acrylic on canvas, 34” x 52”


Growing up in the Hudson Valley, I spent a lot of time in nature and making art, and met my first art mentors. Like many artists, I fell away from painting but continued my studies in other areas.


abstract painting by Marli Thibodeau

“Dark And Stormy” acrylic on canvas, 60” x 48”


I spent a decade in a nature-based martial art, which has had a strong influence on my connection to movement and nature. Along the way I opened a Native American art and craft gallery, honing my eye for curation.


Artist Marli Thibodeau at work in her studio

Artist Marli Thibodeau at work in her studio


What had the most impact has been the conscious movement modality I have been training in for the last five years, which ultimately led me back to painting. Artistic expression is a way of life, and now is a fabulous time to begin this journey.


Artist Marli Thibodeau invites you to follow her on Instagram and Facebook.


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