File - TLB by Maryanne Pappano
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Who is Talula Love Bottoms?
Talula Love Bottoms is you. She
is the artist that is inside of all of us.
She is chance, opportunity,
freedom and possibilities. She is
that day you decide that it’s time
to make some changes. She is the
moment of surrender; received by
the sound of applause echoing into
What concepts and philosophies do
you explore with your art?
My art is about healing energy
mostly. It’s about that moment
in time, a split second really, that
you find or lose something. That
moment, for example, to a child
who’s balloon just slipped through
their fingers is shattering... but to
an old lonely man sitting on a park
bench across the bay, it’s the most
beautiful feeling of freedom he
has seen since his wife’s death. It
is about that feeling when you first
feel the butterflies of love, the gift
of a strangers smile. Moments that
change us, really. We can all relate
to a line on a map that we have
traveled. It is shared yet unique to
OCNJMAGAZINE.COM November/December 2013
each of us and the path we choose
What inspires you?
If I dig deep the main inspiration
comes from my childhood (as
with us all I believe). My father is
a collector of “things,” an antique
dealer, post card guru, and a product
of the Great Depression. Every box
he had was a treasure to me as a kid.
Whatever was in it, had its own
story. I fell in love with the stories
of things; probably a lot like my dad
did – but with a lot of folks from
that generation; these boxes just got
stacked and stories became untold.
That is where my art comes from.
I want to open the boxes and tell
the stories. Old books, maps, wood,
toys, tins, buttons, beads. They were
read, traveled, turned into boxes,
played with, worn, cherished...
loved. Isn’t is always about being
What drives you?
Art is powerful. In college I
would spend Friday afternoons at
the Met staring at this one painting.
I can close my eyes and imagine
the magic that painting presented
to me. It was as if history, religion,
faith, love and understanding was
presenting itself to me. I didn’t
really understand why I was so
attracted to this painting. I never
let myself know the painter or the
name of the painting until a few
years ago. I was afraid that (as an art
student) my opinion of the artwork
would change if I knew too much.
I approach my art this same way.
It’s about the viewer. It may tell bits
and pieces of my story, but mostly
what I want is for it to be able to
tell your story. I want the viewer
to have that moment that I did at
the Met the first time I saw that
painting. Pure joy... unadulterated
bliss and love for something I
couldn’t explain, but I knew it
made me feel safe. It made me feel
like there was something bigger
than me, but that I had reason and
intent. For example, I paint what
used to be the 59th Street Pier all
the time. I’m certain my collectors
don’t know that is where I grew up,
my beach, the place I would go to
Left: Artist Maryanne Pappano.
Middle and right: Maryanne’s
art uses cartography to create a
unique piece for her customers.
think, to walk my dogs... where I
got married and where I cried when
I got divorced. To everyone it means
something different. That is what I
want to give with my art. I believe
that is powerful. I believe that is the
gift I was given from Joan of Arc by
Why and how does Ocean City
influence so much of your art?
A dear friend of mine, Shaina
Horton, gave me my first show at
Accent Gallery in Ocean City. I was
just starting to take myself and my
work seriously. She invited me to
be part of the first Fresh exhibition,
featuring new and upcoming artists
in the area. If you look at my art,
I’m all over the place – surf art, dog
portraits, maps, and assemblage –
you name it I try to put my paint
brush in it. Shaina sat me down
one day in regards to the art I was
telling her I wanted to put in the
show. I figured the surf stuff would
sell and we would all make money.
She said she didn’t want the surf
stuff. She wanted my “other” stuff.
She scared the crap out me... she
knew more about me than I knew
about myself at that time. She also
then said something to me that has
fundamentally changed my life and
the reason for my art... she said,
“I believe that art can mend this
broken world.” I tear up thinking
about that moment. That’s what it
was about... and from that moment
on that’s what it has been about.
I will never take credit for the
healing energy that goes into my
work; that was a gift from Shaina.
The greatest gift; that’s why I was
able to go back to the Met and look
at the name of the artist. I could
finally say thank you. Ahhh...it’s
emotional. This art stuff. (wiping
away tears). What does this story
have to do with Ocean City? I guess
it would be defined by opportunity.
It is what Talula is about... gifting
opportunity to other artists; the
moment when someone says your
art is worth it; let’s hang it, let’s
show the world and let them feel
the healing energy of creativity. You
win. Your smile changes universal
energy every time you gift it to
yourself and others. That happened
to me in Ocean City, my home, the
foundation of my heart.
You once suggested I read The Four
Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
Do you use them as a code for life?
There are a few books that have
fallen out of nowhere into my lap
and given me the trust that I am
on the right path. The first was
Letter to A Young Poet by Rilke, The
second would definitely be The Four
Agreements. Art is a great source to
learn about religion. Being religious
isn’t really my gig, but having
spirituality and faith are two things
that have led me to balance. The Four
Agreements is a simple “spiritual”
code to follow. One of the things
that artists face (and another reason
why I created Talula) is criticism.
Ugh... for someone to say they don’t
like your work; it’s so personal. It’s
so hard to overcome.
The Four Agreements gave me
the tools I needed to persevere in
a very criticized medium. Art is
so personal. I’ve made some bad
paintings. I’m pretty sure Talula has
some bad days too. One of the most
important things I learned from
The Four Agreements is to not take
anything personally (the second
agreement in the list). In practicing
that (now mantra) gave me the
ability to finally get to the point
where my art is truly an extension
of my being. Line to paper is an
extension of my right arm. I feel
like I am missing something if I
don’t practice my art everyday. I
feel successful and validated just in
the act of creating, not in the final
product of the art, or even in the
sale of the art. Having someone buy
my work is such a validation that
I’m doing what I am supposed to be
HAVE a friend who is a
fine artist. And, she is a
fine artist. I say this with
Her faculty for expressing
one’s thoughts or desires with art
is done with graceful clairvoyance.
She is intuitive and looks beyond
what you may offer, finds an orifice
to your soul, and turns out art that
expresses more than what you
proffer. I know because she has
communicated my own soul’s voice
through art. She has illustrated my
fictional series, OLive and Bean.
Her crafted art accessed more of
the story than my own words.
She is powered by love, but also
by rage and there is beauty in all of
it. She is devastatingly, habitually
rallies for charities. She has taken
the lost art of cartography and
skillfully revived it for the purpose
of art. The effect is nuanced by
her incorporation of defined
precariousness. She is Maryanne
Pappano. She is Talula Love
doing. I know what it means to love
what you do and I am so grateful.
Nothing that anyone says or does
can sway me from this purpose. I
just don’t take it personal.
To view or purchase art by
Talula Love Bottoms, go to http://
Kelly Tjoumakaris finds out what powers artist Maryanne Pappano
854 Asbury Avenue, Ocean City
November/December 2013 OCNJMAGAZINE.COM