Painting is a language onto itself, completely outside the realm of words, but every bit as valid. Mariko Irie is a skilled painter and she takes joy in the conversation her images convey. It’s this connection with the viewer that compels her to paint and feeds her passion. When she sees her art bringing happiness to others, she feels fulfilled.
Mariko paints in both watercolor and oil, two very different mediums. The watercolors give her the delight and experience of surprise that occurs when putting pigment onto wet paper. While the oils exhibit a more physical and decisive expression, showcasing her strong calligraphic brushwork. Both her watercolors and her oils reveal an intelligence and simplicity that comes with years of practice.
A life long artist, she was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. In 1982 she moved to this country. She then courageously did the thing so many people say is impossible: She succeeded in living her life as a full-time artist. A hard worker, she paints everyday, and it shows. From across the room many of her paintings appear nearly photographic, while up close you can see all the variations and brush strokes.
You can’t paint the world in this way without feeling a deep respect for your subject matter. You can’t capture a sunset in the way she does without loving the beauty of it in your core. It requires skill, yes, but it’s so much more than that. Her paintings embody not only the natural treasures that surround us here on the Mendocino coast, but also reflect her deep respect and love for her subjects. She paints the things that comprise her life, and shares them with others.
Her remarkable work is collected internationally and she has won many awards. At Northcoast Artists Gallery she offers both originals and very reasonably priced prints, making it easy for you to take a little piece of Mendocino County home with you!
I suspect that painting, not English, is her true second language, and she speaks it beautifully. Come see her show, Mariko Irie 2018. See what her paintings say to you. The First Friday Opening is October 5, 5pm to 8pm at Northcoast Artists Gallery in Fort Bragg.