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Monday, April 20, 2009

ARTIST PROFILE: Marcy Basel, painter

Artist Profile – Marcy Basel
Marcy Basel is becoming a known force in Sonoma County since her arrival in the summer of 2001. She has a private practice in alternative medicine to address many of the ailments of day to day life. She contributes to the community through her Chinese Medicine column in the West County Gazette. And most important to this column, she won a 1st and 2nd at the 2008 Sonoma County Harvest Fair in the Fine Arts – Oils, Amateur category.

Marcy began her career in Chinese Medicine while living in Santa Monica, CA. She was not feeling well and while visiting a Chinese herbal pharmacy, the proprietor observed an innate ability in Marcy to intuitively select the herbs for her ailments. The encounter led to a long term student/teacher relationship and enrollment in acupuncture school. Not only was this a major change in her life at the time but this career change resulted in an introduction to Sebastopol and a reemergence of art as a major emphasis in Marcy’s life.

The life of a traveling acupuncturist in celebrity populated Santa Monica was exciting and lucrative but was beginning to take a toll on quality of life. Marcy daydreamed about a different life with a studio of her own. Browsing the Practices for Sale in industry magazines for an established practice became a common pastime. One day she saw an advertisement for a business in Sebastopol. She spoke to the owner and found herself on an airplane to Northern California. Driving into Sebastopol with a belief that all of California is akin to the Los Angeles basin is like entering the Twilight Zone from June Cleaver’s home. Where did these relaxed women in Birkenstocks come from? Were there no designer shops or salons in the whole area? What was Marcy Basel doing here?

The experience was strange – the owner decided to not sell – Marcy gratefully returned to Los Angeles and continued her life as it was established. Sebastopol was all but forgotten. Life goes on. A year later, her apartment was sold and she needed to move. During the period of searching for a new place to live, the contact from Sebastopol called to let Marcy know that she was selling her business. Was Marcy still interested?

We all get a feeling at one time or another that things happen for a reason. We are not sure what that reason is nor do we understand what really is happening. For Marcy the confluence of events told her that now was to time to make another life change. Not only did she purchase the Sebastopol business but moved into the offered accommodations on Jonive Road. Her practice is diverse with particular attention to menopause and food allergies. Never thinking that she would live in the “woods”, she loved the quiet and serenity and ended up purchasing a home nestled in the forest outside of Occidental. She then built her studio where she can paint. The spirit of the setting comes through in Marcy’s paintings – tranquility and light.

After hearing this wonderful story about acupuncture and herbal medicine, my curiosity was piqued to learn where the art interest developed. Marcy matter-of-factly announced that she held a Masters Degree in Art Education and had run an art school in Malibu! Oh, and she had a ceramics company that she had sold. All of this before discovering herbal medicine as her calling. The intensity of her new profession had squelched any time or energy for art and she lost touch with her native skills of painting and creating.

Today Marcy paints in oils the nature that surrounds her in West Sonoma County. Her paintings range from landscapes to abstract nature. She works in oils and charcoal. The color combinations evoke a sense of continuity and compatibility – totally in keeping with wellness. Her paintings are frequently on display at Gallery One in Petaluma and will be featured at the Prudential CA Realty office on Healdsburg Avenue in Sebastopol during June and July. I am certain that you will find her at the Harvest Fair in October.

If you would like to see her paintings now, feel free to call Marcy directly at 707 874-2402.

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