marlene mountain
journal ann arbor
july-august 1963

journal ann arbor

july 6 1963 ann arbor michigan

So very much has happened since March! When I arrived in Ada in the first week in April, I was still burdened with memories--things which continued to haunt me until only last month and by now are almost as nothing--just as my high school situations are nothing. For a while it seemed that I would not be able to overcome the inside pressures, but happily they gradually disappeared. I am now very free. This is the best word that I can use to describe my feeling. Because of this my painting is becoming more personal and stronger. My confidence is much stronger. I am regaining my discipline. I am acquiring an ego. So much for these thoughts.

In Ada I casually picked up again the window idea. I had tried several figure ideas previously but not too satisfied with them--their lack of personal views. I had begun to work rather quickly on arrival but only in spurts with great periods of uneasiness. However when my thoughts turned to the windows, it seemed that so much was right about the subject and technique. I began thinking in that direction and during the two months there was able to do several ideas. Each involved a real portion of a window: curtain, screen, awning. I had the usual amount of trouble with them, however was able to get them ready for the show at East Central--24 paintings: land, figure and windows.

Even though I was working fairly often and was tremendously glad to be away from Minn. U., I still couldn't clear my mind. I was still somewhat unhappy in spite of family and friends. I'm not sure what caused this change this summer. I suppose because I was alone most of the day, and finally got everything run through my mind (thousands of times) until I could do it no longer. Also my mind became involved with painting ideas and eventually replaced the previous ones.

At the moment I have seven paintings which I will call completed for the time. Not all are completely successful but that does not bother me so much at the present time. Of the seven, five are of windows, 2 figures. More important than these canvases are the thoughts I have had about them and the other things which have yet to be made visual. So often there was such a great spark of excitement involved with them, and this I consider to be much more important. I know my enthusiasm has returned. The canvases are still weak, experimental, etc, although I am fond of them. But they are probably only steps in this direction. If my enthusiasm continues I feel I will be able to arrive at better visual results--and more personal ones.

One of the last ideas involved the idea of building windows--as relief sculpture, or maybe as
3-dimensional. These are to be built out of wood scraps, old pieces with character. One has been tried this week. A wall sculpture using only the very basic shape of the window--the simplest form. I hope to try others on returning to Ada. Larger ones with several windows in a row, verticals and horizontals, straight and distorted.

I AM A PAINTER July 1963 Ann Arbor

Marlene Morelock (signed)

August 8, 1963 Ann Arbor, Michigan

The end of a fairly productive period is near--that is in this city. However I see the strong possibility of being able to continue the productive spirit. It is usually a difficult thing for me to say: I will paint 'tomorrow' and be sure of making it a truth. Nevertheless I have been much more aware of being more in control of my doings. To be open to inspiration is the most important asset. This past month (July) was a completely selfish month--one which was used as I saw fit. And I must say that if circumstances are good--a great deal of activity is possible. I will miss this freedom but I can say it was possible for a while. I cannot ask for everything.

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