Fine art photographer. Teacher. Thinker. Entrepreneur. There are several ways you can describe Reenie, including wife and mother, but the one adjective you would have to add to any description is: passionate.
“When I find something I’m passionate about, I tend to overdo it,” is how she explains the various phases she has gone through. After a 30-year career as a teacher, she retired in 2005 and found herself thinking, as many retirees do, “What next?”
“All of my energy and creativity had gone into teaching,” she notes. “I was not used to having time on my hands.” She had been given a digital camera on her retirement, which led to long walks around Harrington where she lived at the time, observing nature.
“I found I was present in a new way, seeing things as if for the first time,” she says.
“My creative spirit was released.” The results were some stunning nature photographs that are still part of her collection.
Nine months later, her husband Wendell nagged her to show her work at Finnegan’s Market in Hudson. She sold six pictures in one day and took orders for six more. Within a year, she had a solo show at the Centre Culturelle in Lachute and within three years, she was doing 10 shows a year, in Montréal, Ottawa, Kingston and Toronto.
The genetic connection
Marx comes by her creativity naturally, as her father was an amateur photographer and a jewellery designer who gave his daughter her first camera when she was 17.
“Photography was always a hobby, but it soon became a second career,” she claims. Completely self-taught, she listened and took advice from professional photographers and began to explore digital photography.
Her creativity shows not only in her photos but in the ways she presents them. Two years ago she started printing images on acrylic, so that they can be displayed in a window like stained glass. She also experiments with metallic and fine art papers, canvas and brushed aluminum. Most recently, she has begun printing her photos on wooden jigsaw puzzles which invite the user to contemplate the spiritual aspects of the image while assembling the puzzle.
Marx unites her two great passions in the photography courses she gives – a beginner’s course and a digital course. They involve a one-day workshop with only four participants to maximize learning, a delicious lunch, a photoshoot and cost $125 each.
Her other great interest – meditation- is clearly visible in a book she published in February 2018 called The Tao of Water, a collection of gorgeous photos of water and thoughtful phrases on the creative element that runs through all things.
The next stage
People had the opportunity to enjoy and buy Reenie’s work at a very successful overstock sale she staged at her house on the weekend of November 10 and 11. They will have another opportunity at the Christmas Craft Show to be held November 23, 24 and 25 at the Vankleek Hill Arena. She will have a booth there with her artwork, illuminations, cards and puzzles for sale.
Marx feels she is on the verge of further changes in her life.
“I believe in the adage ‘to everything there is a season’,” she says.
“It’s important to recognize when it’s time to move on, even if one doesn’t know what the next phase will be.” She is currently mentoring young women in a program called Girls to Women which may be her next great passion.
“Trust your inner voice,” she advises. It is obvious that her own inner guide has already led her on an extraordinary journey.
For artwork or information on courses, contact Reenie Marx at (514) 209-0259 or [email protected]
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Her short fiction has been published in many Canadian literary magazines.Numerous humorous and non-fiction articles have been published in the Globe & Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Life and Toronto Star. She has also published two local histories and is the former Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at Ryerson University.