Gold digger

Marla Tomlinson holding painting "Desert Magic-Gold Digger."

The South Arkansas Arts Center welcomes El Dorado artist Marla Tomlinson and her exhibit entitled "Cult of Color" to the Lobby Gallery, now hanging through August 28.

An artist's reception will be held 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, August 27. Reservations are required.

Originally from Northwest Florida, Tomlinson has dabbled in art her whole life and has garnered awards along the way, starting in her early years and throughout high school and college.

"As an adult, I did the fine arts and arts and crafts circuit throughout Florida, winning awards throughout the years. With all these tools, I developed my own style and have experimented with all the mediums, but I currently focus on acrylic and watercolors," said Tomlinson.

She is inspired by popular culture, from makeup and style blogs to television and magazines. This widely varied subject matter serves as inspiration in the colors and design choices for her work. "People have always fascinated me as subjects for paintings, so I naturally gravitate to portrait painting," she said. "I love to highlight the strength and beauty of women in my paintings and love using bright colors and bold patterns. I also enjoy doing fun and funky pet portraits and am always available for commissions of both."

Tomlinson likes to focus on acrylics and would describe the style of this show as contemporary art-realism, but with bright and crazy patterns. Her background in watercolor informs the brushwork and use of light in these acrylic pieces, which rely on saturated colors and bold contrasts.

Excited to be having her first solo exhibit at SAAC, Tomlinson has been a supporter since moving to Arkansas a few years ago. "When we moved to El Dorado in 2014 and were exploring, one of the first things I discovered was the arts center," she said.

"I joined SAAC as a member in 2015, and I have exhibited in the membership show every year. I was asked to become a member of the visual arts committee in 2019."

The artist reception will be hosted for small groups on Thursday, August 27 with scheduled times for viewing at 5:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. Place your reservation for a time slot by calling SAAC at 870-862-5474.

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