Antoinette Marchfelder is a painter who works in acrylics. She paints on canvas, boards and people. Her work is flowing, colorful and powerful. She works at events, parties and college and professional sports venues painting faces and airbrushing tattoos. You may have seen her work exhibited in the Brookwood Café in Mercerville, where she has shown three times in the past two years.
Whether on canvas or faces her work is cohesive and has a signature style.
Please share some of the media you work in.
I am a mixed-media artist and use mostly acrylic paint. I incorporate collage material, gold leaf, inks, pens, pastels, watercolors, along with stencils and stamps.
What are you communicating with your art?
In some of my work depicting women, it’s about inner strength, no matter what we as women face and go through, we continue to rise. Usually in those, hair is important to me…even if the woman is bald!
I know, that doesn’t make sense. But hair, for me, represents freedom to express oneself, and also symbolizes strength. A bald woman, for me, represents an incredible strong individual who has overcome many battles and her head is held high.
As far as my abstract work, I would have to say that is me getting into a paint flow, disconnecting from the outer world, and letting my soul connect with the canvas. I never know where it will take me, but I always feel deep contentment when I finish.
How did you get started with the face and body painting?
My church, at the time, was doing a back to school event for the community and I thought I would be able to help out by face painting. I have a friend who does this, so I asked her for advice. Not only did she sit me down and give me a crash course on face painting, product, where to buy, who to watch, et cetera, but she lent me her daughter’s kit, had me practice, and then had me face paint at an event. I was so nervous, and kept telling the kids to go to the other artist’s line!
I now face paint and airbrush all over the tristate area for both small parties and big festivals. Currently airbrushing at all the Eagle home games at their stadium, and Rutgers college football home games. I love it!
Where have you shown in this area?
I recently had my art up at the Brookwood Cafe, where I have shown three times. I tend to show mostly in Trenton area, Mill Hill Saloon, Starbucks, Trenton Social, and Artworks.
What fight/struggle do you have regarding your art?
Consistency. I am blessed with a studio in my home, and my schedule gives me time to work on things. However, I am a creative, who gets distracted and will start something, then see something else that’s alluring and I want to try it. I will circle back to other projects, but I do have a few that I started 5+ years ago!
Consistency is very hard for me. I am not good at working at set times and hours on art projects. I think a lot of this stems from being self-employed with no time card to punch in.
I know that right now (summer), I am in my face painting high season and have not looked at canvas painting in months. I won’t let myself start anything. But as my season winds down, I will pull out my paints and get back into that flow.
How often do you paint?
Once I am in that low-season space, I will paint often. I tend to work intensely on something, if I have a vision for it. When that happens, I will have an idea in my head. I can see it and I need to get it out onto the canvas.
When that happens, I will paint for hours, and days until done. Also if I have deadlines. That’s the best way for me to finish paintings!
Which events to do the face painting are your favorites?
A few years back, I face painted at Trenton Movie nights. Every week, I went to a different neighborhood and painted for 2 hours. I got to know the kids and parents. I continue to do events in different cities, and one of the joys of my job is letting the child decide the design, the colors, and then seeing the first look when they peer in the mirror.
The Magic Mirror Moment! It never gets old!
What is most fun about being an artist?
I consider myself to be an “artistpreneur.” Art embraces all of that: I get to be creative, choose how I want to work on a project, have a good amount of flexibility with time. Depending on the project, I can go to a favorite cafe and work for a bit, or out in the woods. I have freedom to explore. Art can take so many forms, so it’s never boring.
The “preneur” part of that phrase is having different streams of income within my art. Sometimes that’s just a tiny bit, or seasonal (face painting), but it keeps me moving forward.
What is a dream project of yours?
To produce a series of work and show in NYC, to start. I have not shown outside of this area, mostly because of that whole consistency thing. I need to focus on a plan and deadline for that.
What is on the horizon? What are you looking forward to?
I would like to be able to travel and continue to create art on the road. I have been doing a lot of digital art and like the idea of being a digital nomad. Not full time, but maybe a month out of the year to start.