Marie Hovelian-Hagopian painted with interruptions, but the result was “inspiring”, as her husband, painter Hagop Hagopian testified. Despite the fact that the artist did not study painting professionally, her still lifes are not examples of naive painting. Perhaps, the family and the painting environment played a role.
In 1968, when she was 39 years old, the artist managed to create slightly more than a decade. Afterwards, there was a long break, and she was back again. Painting seemed to make an important part of her life meaningful. This happens especially to women who are forced to dwell between everyday life and dreams.
Especially you feel this, looking at her still lifes with flowers. Drawings are very delicate, accurate and bright like a crystal. Sometimes the line is so fine and precise that it reminds of the herbarium images of the Baroque epoch. There is a deep sense of taste in every painting. Sources must be searched for in Marie’s biography.
In 1955-1956, Marie Hovelian-Hagopian improved her professional skills in sewing and modeling in Paris and successfully worked for many years in this specialty. Of course, the ability to create beautiful clothes played its part. This assumption seems to be more convincing when we recall seeing, for example, an iron among the objects found in her still lifes. Marie's still-lifes bear evidence to a woman’s devoted life, which reveal a refined and noble inner world.
1971 34x26,5, Pink dreams, paper, watercolor
1973 41,2x34, Beach in Gandiata, paper, watercolor
The first person, who appreciated and inspired her with enthusiasm was my father, painter Hagop Hagopyan, who wrote about it. However, as Marie painted with great intervals, her first personal exhibition of paintings was organized almost 30 years later, in 1999, and another five years passed, before her next exhibition of graphic works. These exhibitions were well received. When I recently read again the “archives” kept in our house, i.e. news clippings and written impressions of visitors, I noticed that perceptions and opinions are alike, whether expressed by art critics or art lovers of different professions, a fact which perhaps can be explained by the artist’s clear spiritual image. I decided to use these texts in fragments as if making a “collage” and get a complete picture in the form of a written word. The only thing remaining for me to do was to add a biography and write an afterword, and when I told my mother that I was preparing a book for her... all of a sudden, she got enthused and said: “... you know, when we were outside in the country to work in the lap of nature, in the clear air, daylight and silence, sitting under the trees, an album in my knees... I suddenly had such a sensation of freedom that my breathing opened... and I felt so happy! ~ Nora Hagopian
What she does is impossible to learn from someone. You either have it and feel it, or not. Something trained is always lifeless. The natural, coming from inside, is beautiful and attractive. That Marie attracts the viewers’ attention at once has been proven by the three personal exhibitions, especially the one with her oil paintings, organized by the National Gallery in Yerevan on the initiative of Shahen Khachaturian, then exhibited in Leninakan and finally in Vagharshapat. Due to all these exhibitions, Marie was highly appraised and respected by the lovers of her art. Sure, she is worthy of that attention. I do not want to make a lengthy analysis of Marie’s painting. I will only say that Marie, being interested in painting and aware of today’s art, has visited the Louvre, the Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and having lived in Paris for quite a long time she went to many important galleries and worldwide renowned exhibitions of old masters and modern artists.However, her mind remained clean, and foreign influences have not penetrated Marie’s heart. She approaches the canvas with a pure heart and mind, and hence is the result, and I would say, an enviable result. ~ Hagop Hagopian