Marilyn Borglum




MFA (Painting) May 1997

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO    

Graduate Teaching Assistantship, 1990-91 Printmaking Dept.

First Graduate Candidate (CSU Art Dept.) awarded interdisciplinary move

BFA (Painting) May 1984

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO       



Professional Artist   1993-present

Work is represented by numerous fine art galleries in U.S.

Work is in many prestigious private collections

For some time I’ve been aware that the form of the horse holds deep psychological symbolism for me, if not because I first began drawing angry looking horse heads when my parents divorced, but that horses showed up in reoccurring dreams to me for a number of years when I struggled with a serious long term illness. As I slowly recovered physically, the horse in the dreams gained strength, and I became more aware of its presence as opposed to its being discovered in the end of each dream having been neglected. The vast majorities of my equine paintings are pragmatic, and controlled in the execution, as I systematically plan all or most of the formal elements. It is the choice of the subject of the horse that remains the only element of a subconscious source for me that I, most likely, will never completely identify. In spite of a looming awareness I have that it is my responsibility as an artist to anticipate what the viewer may bring to any given work that I create, I try to temper self-condemnation of my use of the subject, one in which the viewer has inevitably become saturated with sophomoric horse lover’s portraits, to the acclaimed masterful works of Rubens and Bonheur.

In contrast, as I put probing, theoretic, deciphering on the hind side of the art making process, my objective with the urban and figurative drawings is to respond in a way that considers varying levels of cognitive control, a response to the subject, or environment that optimizes the intuitive element while still grappling with the learned skill and craft of the medium. Through this subconscious quick response to my subject in the drawings, my experience has been that I gain insight about the subject in the work, often realizing something about them I was unable to recognize before drawing it, or them.

While I continue to work in the two polarized methods, I consider the intuitive art process to be superior to the more controlled cognitive processes, not only in my own work, but also in others work. My perspective regarding this was not without its opposition as I made my way through graduate school, outspoken in my belief that the potential of any given work to contribute to a collective intellectual insight increases as it conforms more closely to what Gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer categorized as Productive Thinking (solving a problem with insight, by a quick unplanned response to a situation or environmental interaction), rather than Reproductive Thinking (solving a problem with previous experience).

And while no work of art labeled important should display an underdeveloped mastery of the craft, that should not be confused with considered omissions or abstractions on a formal level carried through a body of work. As I study my own response and others to the drawings, it is perhaps their elements  which act as visual puzzles our minds wants to solve, like those that Max Wertheimer wrote of, and termed Proximity, Continuity, and Closure, that give them, in part, their dynamic impression.

And, even though I continue in the tedious process of the representative canvases with a portion of my time, a slow revelation continues, one that brings to light the possibility that at this juncture in my life, I may hang on to the representative horses as some sort of defense of my adeptness of the craft. Without doubt, they have been, and are, fulfilling their role as my classroom for foundations while escorting me to the place where I’m realizing the drawings are enough, not just everything I love about the search and the discovery of making art, but as evidence of everything I’ve grown into at work.