Like many artists who embrace some form of abstract expressionism, Houston-based Marilyn Biles knows that her work doesn’t speak to everyone. “It attracts a certain kind of person,” says Biles, who claims her brushed, spattered and dripped creations are a response to how she feels inside. “My art is motivated by a spiritual force that compels a means of expression, and the people who react to it feel a sense of emotion come over them.” Despite traveling to France for exhibitions, Biles often opts for isolation “to avoid being influenced by other artists,” she says, and resists creating themed bodies of work. “I just paint and paint and when I’m offered a show I just kind of pull things together.” Asked if she plans her palettes and the artist replies, “Never. Sometimes I don’t know until years later why I made certain choices.” Similarly, when she made a recent shift to doing collage after years of exclusively painting with oil on canvas, Biles insists the change was purely intuitive. “I never know in advance what I’m going to do. Things just happen.”
LX: I became interested in art because…
MB: It has always been a part of me. I still have some pieces I did as a child including a portrait of my grandfather.
LX: Design icon:
MB: Milo Baughman. I loved the sofas I had in the 1960s that he designed.
LX: Greatest influence:
MB: Painter Helen Frankenthaler, for her elegant colors and simplistic drawings. Her work makes my heart beat faster.
LX: Preferred local shop:
MB: Pilié in Houston has excellence taste and quality products.
LX: Describe your home.
MB: My home is a showroom for my work, and I have personally designed some of the furniture, too. The reading nook is my favorite place because I love being surrounded by books.
LX: Favorite hotel:
MB: I adore The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. It is in a beautiful location that provides great opportunities to be outdoors.