Photos by Hillary Ehlen, Art provided by Brandi Malarkey
Artist Brandi Malarkey’s vibrant personality is as contagious as her passion for her craft. This Fargo-based artist follows a multidisciplinary approach and is self-admittedly addicted to purchasing new and exciting art supplies.
As of late, Malarkey has been focused on nature-inspired art, but she has played with a wide variety of styles, mediums and subject matters over her artistic career. For some time, she worked in producing commission work, including medieval recreation work of items like bibles and books of days. With a portfolio of work ranging from gouache paintings to mixed media works to glass beads, she dove into botanical art when she discovered there was a Minnesota School of Botanical Art where she could learn more. About two years ago, she enrolled in their classes in Minneapolis and learned everything she could about this craft.
“I’m drawn to nature art because I don’t know anything about it whatsoever,” says Malarkey. She says that she is a city girl who grew up without a surrounding of flora and fauna and admittedly doesn’t have much of a green thumb. She adds with a grin, “I can’t grow anything, so I paint it instead.”
Introducing her recent work, Malarkey laughs and says, “My botanical art is my newest art, so I’m the least good at it and it takes me the longest to do. But I’m going to be fabulous at it in just a few years!” Regardless of what she says, you’d never be able to tell that botanical art is something new to her.
To push herself to transition out of the classroom setting from her time at the Minnesota School of Botanical Art, she signed up for The Art’s Partnership’s Community Supported Art (CSA) program. This program has 50 shares available per season, which include access to three parties throughout the year (in May, July and September) where members and one guest each enjoy different visual, performance and culinary art and get to take home a piece of original artwork. The social nature of this program allows members to meet other artists, learn about their craft, and to truly celebrate the art that lives within our community.
For this July’s CSA event, Malarkey created 46 unique mini botanicals to include as take-homes for the members. She shared that doing this was a lot of work, but that she learned so much. They say that learning by doing is the best way to hone your craft, and Malarkey discovered this to be very true. Botanicals she painted for this include to-scale renditions of mushrooms, tomatoes, bell peppers, tulips, daffodils, cherries and more.
While she has been creating art for some time, her recent immersion into the arts community of Fargo has been an encouragement to her. Besides her involvement with The Arts Partnership, she currently has her work on display at Nichole’s Fine Pastry and at Gallery 4 (which she recently became a member of) and will have a new series on display at Salon 3:5 in September. Keep your eye on Malarkey as she blooms around Fargo and continues to share her passion for learning and creating.
See more from Brandi Malarkey:
115 Roberts St, Fargo