When thinking of Richmond artists, the name "Marleigh Culver" often navigates its way into conversation. Her Matisse-esque paintings, whimsical yet intentional, evoke a feeling of freedom and complexity through her bright colors, organic shapes, and refreshing use of space. This Need Supply veteran now calls Brooklyn "home," sharing a cozy apartment with her partner— you can find them drinking mezcal or orange wine in their light-filled living room, amongst many impressive canvases of Marleigh's own work. We caught up with Marleigh to discuss wellness, creativity, and art. We're inspired by this muse's ability to find something unique in every shadow, every angle— find more of this creative's work on her website or browse her Instagram.
All of my work comes from within. My emotions and feelings, romantic thoughts, wants, needs are all abstracted into what I do. I make work about things I love and am attracted to visually.
My environment is very important to my existence and every day. The way the light is, the way things are laid out, the harmony of colors. Anything in nature is inspiring me to since things that are not man-made we will never be able to replicate the same way natural science does. I just enjoy replicating the beauty I see in my own way of seeing. I like to be secretive and keep my ideas to myself until I unveil finished pieces. I listen to a lot of music and make playlists for when I work depending on the period I'm going through in my life at the time.
I've learned a lot about personal wellness in the past two years. I had a serious health issue that made me really come to terms with how fragile life is and how any ounce of stress, anger, and upset can cause damage. So my personal philosophy of wellness is that we need to embrace it, take care of ourselves mentally which will radiate outward. I am a fan of any facials, massages, yoga, walking, meditation. These things help us get in touch with our bodies and minds. We deserve to feel good and strong and cared for.
I think any artist can agree that the process before creating the work, such as prepping or ideating, is so intimate and beautiful to give attention to. Those times are only for you and your work. I wouldn't say I have a ritual, but sitting all my materials out to prep my paintings or sketching on the computer and finding the right colors is the same process every time, and something I enjoy greatly.
5. What is your ideal day in NYC? What are your favorite go-to coffee spots, cocktail joints, restaurants, etc?
I like a day of walking around Prospect Park, getting dinner at Cervo's and getting drinks at Glady's. There's so many great spots in each neighborhood. My ideal day is going to get a facial, walking to get wine at my favorite shops, looking around at the stores in SoHo, and seeing a movie at Alamo. I love going out with my friends and staying out late and dancing and just having fun.
6. As a former Richmonder, what do you admire/miss most about the Richmond community?
It's really nice to be somewhere where you can find your people and always have warmth. I really miss how close everything is together, it made hanging out way easier and faster to get errands done! Richmond will always be special to me; I lived there for 9 years! And just the quality and care people put into their food, businesness, craft. It's admirable.
7. When you come back to Richmond, what are the first 3 things you'll do? (Besides get a facial from us ;) )
Eat everything! Hit up my old employer Need Supply, go to Edo's and get drinks at Sabai.