Marilyn Barton Paintings Exhibited September, 2009

      During late August and early September ripe prickly pear fruits add a splash of crimson-purple; barrel cacti glow red or golden backlit by afternoon sunshine, and sharp-spined agaves lend complex structure and symmetry to the scene. That's a "viewed through the artist's eyes" description of a lovely garden scene painted or photographed here at the Arboretum, and that's how Marilyn Barton sees our gardens. The Gold Canyon artist's watercolor, pastel, and charcoal interpretations were exhibited during September of 2009.

      "The Arboretum has been such an inspiration, such a rich source for many of my paintings since we landed in Gold Canyon in 2004," says Barton. "I teach painting classes and have brought students here for Plein Air outings where we paint together and work on technique surrounded by beauty. On other visits I'll bring a camera to photograph subject matter that I'll paint later. Works such as "Barrel Cactus", "Prickly Pear Fruit" and "Cactus Love" were each painted from photos taken at the Arboretum; in fact, one of the workshops I teach is specifically focused on how to take photographs to use later for your paintings."

    "Arizona scenery has brought such influence on my painting. I use watercolors in a fluid and transparent way to evoke emotions from the viewer, when I paint with pastel I use color in unusual and expressive ways to bring life to the subject matter, and I have been experimenting with portraits that are specific to Arizona life, such as "Modern Cowboy" and paintings of Indians."

          "Painting is an intimate art form. Viewing my paintings means you see my innermost thoughts and feelings. My inspirations are shapes and color, and I strive to interpret a three-dimensional physical presence into a two dimensional rendering on paper. My vehicle is a brush, a pencil, charcoal, chalk - anything that will let me capture that fleeting moment in time and bring it to life. I strive to take an object, a picture, or a person and transform it into another dimension; all I ask of you, the viewer, is to take a trip with me and enjoy the ride!"

     Barton attended UCLA, studying life drawing, illustration, photography, painting, printmaking and art history; more recently she honed her watercolor skills while living in Palm Springs.

       Sonoran desert flora and fauna are favorite themes for Barton's artwork. Traveling around Arizona she captures the beauty of the region with her unique style and colorations in both watercolor and pastel. Instructors compliment that she is a true "colorist" by the use of color in a striking and stylistic manner. Barton teaches art classes in watercolor and pastel, helping students explore the magic of color, color-mixing, artistic techniques and a variety of subject matter. She began teaching in 2007 at Central Arizona College, with classes geared towards beginning and intermediate students. Her one-day workshops center on a specific subject, such as color, composition or using photos.

          Barton may be best known for "Cactus Flower," which won the Gold Canyon Arts Council's pick for poster art to promote the 2006 arts festival - which was attended by thousands of Arizonans. The painting was also featured on the cover of the Gold Canyon Ledger. Her pastel "Agave" graced the magazine's cover again in April 2007. Her works have been exhibited at venues throughout the East Valley and in a solo exhibition at the Superstition Mountain Museum in August 2007 and again in May 2009. The artist is a charter member of the Artists of the Superstitions, which she has served as treasurer and also website coordinator; she's also among organizers for the popular November Studio Tour in Gold Canyon, and the seasonal AOTS members' shows each fall and spring. She coordinated the acclaimed Gold Canyon Arts Festival in 2009 and was asked to coordinate the 2010 festival as well.

         Works seen on this page include "Cactus Flower, "Skull 2," "Bright Agave" pastel) "Bighorn Sheep" (pencil) and "Sedona Storm Clouds" (also a pastel). Original works in the show are priced from $75 to $400; prints from $15 to $95. To order prints or contact the artist about commissioned work email or call 480-274-5500. View the artist's portfolio at and for a more complete overview of her work.

      Boyce Thompson Arboretum is at highway 60 milepost #223 near the historic copper mining town of Superior, a drive of about 45 minutes due East of Mesa. During September visitors are admitted daily from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and the Arboretum closes at 5:00 p.m. (during Spring and Summer months the schedule is daily from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) New exhibits begin each month and may be seen daily during business hours; the Arboretum is an Arizona State Park and daily admission must be paid to enter the Visitor Center where our gallery is found. Admission is $7.50 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Annual memberships at the Arboretum begin at $45, and include a year's access, guest passes for your friends and family, along with many other benefits. A membership may be purchased in the gift shop on the day of your visit. To review other recent gallery shows from...

Gila Community College, July-August, 2009
Margie Porter, June- July, 2009
Deborah A. Lee May, 2009
Mesa Arts League April, 2009

Bud Heiss March, 2009
Laurent Baig February, 2009
Timm Chapman January, 2009
Paul Kinslow December, 2008
Maggie Leef November 2008
Sharon Sieben October 2008
Nicole Royse September 2008
Gila Community College Art July-August 2008
Judy Bottler Photography May 2008
Bob Estrin Photography April 2008
Mary Isham Watercolors March 2008
Susan Strom and Cathy Franklin Lightning Photography February, 2008
Arizona State Parks Plein Air Paintings January, 2008
Carolyn Gray & Connie Thomas December, 2007
Jean Sullivan November, 2007 Sue Cullumber October, 2007
Adriane Grimaldi September, 2007
Pima College print-making students July-August, 2007
Mesa Arts League June-July, 2007
Fred Charlton May, 2007
Paul Mudersbach March-April, 2007
Linda Kaiser February, 2007
Edith Kreueger-Nye December, 2006 - January, 2007
Cindy Carrillo October-November, 2006
Bob Rice September, 2006
Bud Heiss July-August, 2006
Mesa Arts League June-July, 2006
Sandy Tracey April-May, 2006
CJ Rider March, 2006
Jessica Green February, 2006
Steve Davidson January, 2006
Don & Carole Schupp December, 2005
Carolyn Gray November, 2005
Martha Burgess October, 2005
Boeing Photographers September, 2005
Lightning Lady Susan Strom July/August, 2005
Mesa Arts League June/July, 2005
Jeanette Bronson May, 2005
Tom Stanley April, 2005
Kathy McClure February-March, 2005
Pam Smyth January, 2005
Tina Faust December, 2004