I spent a delighted half hour exploring Marla Olmstead’s brand new website. It is an incredibly well-done presentation of Marla as a personality and as a painting phenomenon.
Visible Motion has combined Flash animation, videos, sound, and pictures of Marla, her paintings, and her family into the most engaging and esthetic personal public relations website I have ever seen. From the music of Brudda Iz (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole) at the opening to the multiple treasures in the Photo Gallery and elsewhere, every moment spent on this site was entertaining.
Fans of Marla Olmstead will get a much closer view of this charming child artist and will see the reactions of people at her gallery showings. There are a few momentary snatches of Marla painting, which will not satisfy the naysayers, but I am willing to enjoy what I see and will wait expectantly for more footage.
One thing I noticed is that Marla’s talent lies in the direction of
art, not public speaking. It may be shyness, but her confidence appears
as motion, not in emoting. I can well understand why her parents are
sheltering her from excessive public contact. Her performance is
introspective, not showmanship. Like many writers and artists, her work
says more than she can.
I was also touched to see a quote of mine appear on one of the
pages. It is still true. There is a quality, a presence, in some of her
paintings that elicits a deep emotional response and leaves a lasting
impression. There are too few contemporary artist who do that to me.
the end, that is probably the best answer to any critic. If these
paintings stir such strong emotional reactions in us, what does it
matter how they are done? There is raw talent in these paintings. We
need to see more of it, not worry about the source. The truth is what
works. All will become abundantly clear in time. Meanwhile, I want to
see as much of Marla Olmstead’s work as I can.