Marilee Sousie

Artist Statement: Scooby Doo and Shaggy: those happy, paranoid friends that we all love for some strange reason; the stressed-out-but-loveable, maybe-a-little-drunk Fred Flintstone, who reminds you of your father; or the moment your best friend decided to act more like Ursula than Flounder. While our real life relationships grow and mature so does our relationship to the childhood characters that delighted our afternoons and Saturday mornings. Abstracting the source imagery allows artistic use of the characters beyond their trademarked persona. Here too I can abstract my real world relationships and merge the two realms, cartoon and flesh, into an ecstatic befuddlement. With my inspired character choices I process my relationships through focusing on my palettes. With vivid hues and seductive lines I craft new compositional moments to continue my internal dialog between myself and those that inspire me. My fusion of characters creates playful scenes to explore my personal relationships and emotional responses to experiences. Escapism is an underlying motivation to create paintings and drawings, at first using cartoons as a form of avoidance and then acceptance of personal memories and experiences. The complexity of the real world needs an equal but opposite mate in the honest joy of cartoons.