Marilou Hogeboom: An Artist’s Life

Las Damas, oil on canvas, appeared in the 2008 issue of Orange Coast College's Orange Coast Review.

Las Damas, oil on canvas, appeared in the 2008 issue of OCC’s Orange Coast Review.

A celebration was held Saturday in Santa Ana for Newport Beach artist Marilou Hogeboom, who passed away this month at the age of 87. Her work in recent years was seen most regularly at Orange County Fine Art’s co-operative Showcase Gallery, where the memorial was held, but in the early 1950s, as daughter Katy recalls, she exhibited large tapestries at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts. Over the years she was recognized with various honors, including as the 2008 artist laureate of the city of Newport Beach.

Much of her work is abstract figuration with a 1950s feel to it — reminiscent of Bay Area figurative artists like Elmer Bischoff — but she also maintained a continual process of experimentation. Figures are described with thin sinewy outlines or blocks of thick impasto in often somber hues, and faces almost always have minimal features. Occasionally the entire figure is just a line scratched out of wet paint, but no less compelling for the simplicity of technique.

As a young single mother raising a son and daughter in the 1960s, the artist found a career as a special ed teacher in the Newport-Mesa School District. In the 1970s, after the children were grown, she moved into the Park Newport Apartments (as described in a recent profile in the Orange County Register), where she was able to paint overlooking the Back Bay for several hours each day.

Having worked in printmaking, painting, tapestries, ceramics and mixed media, Hogeboom was planning to study welding for future work. Although she may not have made her career as an artist in the traditional sense, she lived life as an artist, seeing things a bit differently and finding comfort in art and beauty.

3 Responses to “Marilou Hogeboom: An Artist’s Life”
  1. RIP Marilou Hogeboom, he was a great artist with many masterpieces, may he rest in peace.

  2. Michael Beringer says:

    I knew Marilou when I was the director of the Showcase Gallery back in 1999 – 2001. Marilou was one of my favorite artists associated with the gallery at that time. Marilou was always friendly, supportive, and helpful. I recently leaned of her passing. The art world has lost a true artist. May she rest in peace.

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