Bertie works either on location, sketching from nature, or in her home studio, sketching from slides. By working on location, she says she can work out perspective, shadow, texture, tone, color, in a more immediate way, sometimes she first paints a small painting, which she uses to work out problems before starting the larger piece. Of her method, she says, "You create an image in your mind that is so detailed and so vivid you think you are there."
Within a few short years, Bertie Marah became a full-fledged watercolorist, achieving regional recognition and acceptance at national shows. Bertie's awards include nearly every show on the western slope; Best of Show in Artist's Alpine Holiday show in Ouray; Grand Champion in a Brush and PaletteClub show in Grand Junction; acceptance in the Rocky Mountain National Water media Exhibition in Golden; as well as being selected for the "quick draw" artist in the C. M. Russell Show, and having her work featured on the cover of Colorado Cowboy Magazine.
Bertie is an emotional painter, but she mixes emotionalism with the discipline
of a working artist. Bertie is a realistic painter, but she portrays this
realism with warmth and sincerity. Her paintings tug at you, demand attention.
There is an energy, a freshness, a sparkle that sends the eye racing over every
inch of the paper. The artist's chronicle of nature can be subtle and quiet,
bold and boisterous, and magnetic.
The artist's use of color gives her subjects life, significance, and authenticity.
Her greens come directly from the fertile mountain meadows, her icy blues snap with
winter's grip and spring flowers drip yellow pools of sunshine. Her ruddy desert
colors come alive. Thus the mood is set, and you are about to be seduced by the light,
color, and shadow. You can hear the water, you can smell the soft sweet muzzle of the
giant draft horse, you can feel the chill of a stark winter day, opulent with deep
snows, parched grasses, frigid waters. And so the emotion that compelled Bertie to
paint the scene comes through each painting to become your own.
"I paint what I like, what gives me a good feeling, what I am pulled toward.
I paint naturally, spontaneously." Her images share the qualities of the artist
herself - energetic, fresh and sparkling. When someone buys one of her paintings,
she feels she has given them a piece of herself. If she can take the joy she feels
while painting the piece and somehow impart that joy to someone else, then her work
has enriched both lives.
Bertie Stroup Marah - a woman of quiet courage. A winner in art, a winner in life.