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Interview with Marcia Klioze

Q: Which artists have influenced you the most?

A: This changes for me over time. Two artists who passed away in recent years were highly influential for me: Nelson Shanks, who founded Studio Incamminati, and Richard Schmid, who wrote the book “Alla Prima” (a handbook for many oil painters). I also love the master of light and narrative, Joaquin Sorolla. As far as contemporary artists, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my mentors Danni Dawson and Kurt Schwarz. I also love and am greatly influenced by Ricky Mujica, Burt Silverman, Max Ginsburg, Karen Offutt, Rose Franzen and so many more..


Q: What makes a good teacher?

A: I think a good teacher is someone who has had, and struggled with, the same questions their students ask. You need a teacher who can relate to your journey. Students should always study with teachers whose work they really love. Also, everyone learns differently, so having a teacher who is sensitive to that is important.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have received as an artist? 

A: Paint what you love; not to get in shows, or to sell. Paint as if you were going to buy your own painting. YOU know it when you've got it. Surround yourself with like-minded people. Study other work and figure out what you love about it. A lot of critique is "opinion" not "fact" There is a big difference. Have confidence in yourself!

Q: How did your career as an illustrator influence your painting?

A: I'm really drawn to the "Narrative" in my painting. I had to interpret editorial copy. I loved brainstorming with the editors and coming up with concepts that would narrow down the information so that the painting or drawing would be intriguing enough to make you want to read the article or book. When I was an editorial illustrator I did either an author portrait or a caricature followed up by what the industry described as a conceptual... Illustration forced me out of my comfort level.  So many fine art painters started out as illustrators. Raymond Kinstler, Norman Rockwell. Max Ginsburg and Ricky Mujica did romance novel covers. I think Kinstler did comic books! I find this fascinating. 


Marcia Klioze is known for her expressive portraits and figure paintings, and for her brilliant use of color. An award winning artist whose work has been recognized by the National Portrait Society, National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, Art Renewal Center, and many others, Marcia focuses on capturing not just a likeness, but the essence of the person and the moment in her portrait and figure paintings. She teaches a variety of painting classes at The Arts of Great Falls. Her long career as an illustrator draws her to the narrative in every painting, no matter what the subject matter.    

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