Marti Jones Dixon grew up in Ohio knowing that visual art would always be a predominate source of joy and pain. Eager to learn more, she attended and graduated from Kent State with a degree in Studio Art. Longing to paint, she began to feel the pain of being pulled in two directions when a career in music fell into her lap. As “Marti Jones” from 1984 to 1991, she was signed to A&M, then RCA Records. The sporadic release of subsequent independent label records kept Marti semi-afloat. As she grew weary of the business that had nothing to do with music, she felt the door of opportunity creak open for painting. She now resides and has a painting studio in Canton, Ohio.

Dixon says of her work, “I paint because I have to. It keeps me alive and focused. I wake up thinking about it and go to bed thinking about it. I think about what I want to achieve with each painting. I usually can’t express these thoughts because they are intangible feelings. Abstract. Complicated. Indescribable. I do know that I want to show my life in paintings and that it’s made up of complex variables: movement, weight, light. I want the viewer to feel the life. No need for discussion, really. Stare at it for as long as you want. And more importantly, you are free to feel whatever you want.

A few years ago, a friend of mine showed me the documentary Grey Gardens. Every time someone would leave the room we would pause the movie, and every time, Edie would be frozen in motion, her grace and beauty intact. I found her character intriguing and her posture enchanting. I’ve found myself taking a break from my usual subjects and painting her as a palette cleanser. (No pun intended.) She is truly a breath of fresh air.”

Video: Marti Jones Dixon, once a star, now paints.