Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Checking in with Malenda Trick



By Noelle H. Lowery

Local artist Malenda Trick is at it again.

After a season full of art classes and portrait painting, the art licensing diva is hard at work at her next endeavor — a home decor fabric deal with Los Angeles-based Robert Kaufman Fabrics. The fabrics will include her now famous shoe and purse images, combined with eye-popping color and designs.

Coastal Breeze News recently caught up with Trick at her cozy French flat-style studio to find out more about the fabric deal and about what she will be up to next.

CB: How did you become an artist?

MT: It was innate. I sold my first piece of artwork at three years old for a nickel. Howard Kron is a famous lamp designer. His two-cat lamp is the number one collectible TV lamp in the world, and the small cat is my kitten. The large cat is his cat. He is the one who gave me my nickel. It is a ceramic lamp. He said, ‘an artist always gets paid for their work. Never give it away.’

CB: Where do you get your inspiration?

MT: I am self-taught. I learned how to paint copying other art masters,

Shoes like this put Malenda Trick on the map.

Shoes like this put Malenda Trick on the map.

and I used to do the reproductions for the Tennessee State Museum.

CB: Who has been the greatest influence on your life and work?

MT: Jesus. I do a lot of portraits and a lot of people who are deceased, and I put a lot of love into my portraits. I do a lot of pathways and beauty. I don’t paint negative paintings. I like fun and happiness.

CB: What are three words you would use to describe yourself?

MT: Me? Flamboyant. I like people. I’m a caring person, and I’m overly-sensitive.

CB: Your work?

MT: Even though it is impressionism from a distance, it looks like realism, and I don’t know how to describe that. I don’t do one thing. I’m very prolific, and it would bore me to tears if I just did one kind of thing. Prolific would be one. Wide-ranged. My daughter would say that I am brain-dead on the left side of my brain and that I only work on the right. I tell her no, no. On the left side of my brain is where I do my reproductions.

CB: If you could have dinner with any five people in history, who would they be

These drawings serve as the story board for Malenda Trick’s new line of fabrics with RobertKaufman Fabrics.

These drawings serve as the story board for Malenda Trick’s new line of fabrics with RobertKaufman Fabrics.

and why?

MT: It would be at The Savoy absolutely. Monet stayed at the Savoy. Margaret Thatcher. Ronald Reagan. Calvin Coolidge. Billy Graham, and I’d like to have my mama back long enough to have dinner with her again.

CB: How did you start making the purses, and how did the new fabric endeavor come about?

MT: Ten years ago, I had a girlfriend who said, ‘Malenda, you’ve got to paint shoes.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to paint shoes.’ She said, ‘You’ve just got to,’ and she kept sending me photographs of shoes. This was in Nashville, and I said, ‘Okay, fine. I’m going to paint a whole plethora of shoes, and then we’ll have a party. That will be that, and everyone will be happy. I painted 58 shoes, and we had a lovely party. Nine years later, they were licensed for checks through the Bradford Exchange. Through Bradford Exchange, we invented the purse, and because of that we made the Diva Series, which came out as hairbrushes. Now, the purse, hairbrushes and Diva faces all became fabric items. Hallmark has the Tart Warmer Shoe Series and the beginning of the Diva Series. I painted

This shoe purse is signature Malenda Trick.

This shoe purse is signature Malenda Trick.

six already, and three are sold already. Now, I think I am going to do some from the 20s, some hats. I am evolving the Diva Series. The shoes and the faces were picked up as fabric designs by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. Robert Kaufman is the manufacturer, and he will sell them to fabric stores. It will be six to eight months before they are available.

CB: What is next for you?

MT: A pillow, I think. I always have a list of things to do, and I always have friends who say, ‘Malenda, you’ve got to do X.’ Right now, I have locals who say, ‘Malenda, you don’t do enough local art.’ I am planning on doing a whole series of Marco Island and Naples local flora, fauna and beaches, and stuff like that.

CB: What do you like most about your work?

MT: Playing in paint. It is fun. I just love paint.

CB: What do you like the least?

MT: I don’t mind deadlines, so that can’t be it. I think every once in while when someone says, ‘That’s a really nice frame.’ That might be my pet peeve.

CB: Will you ever retire?

MT: Artists never retire. I will fall asleep at the wheel.

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