Solo Show - The Spirit of Algonquin - Finding the Life in the Forest

 Visitor's Centre, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

On-going Now until April 27, 2023



Primarily self-taught, my artwork is centered around our relationship with the natural world. As a lifetime student of Feng Shui, I want to convey the importance of how we are all interconnected.  Nature gives us life and nourishes and sustains us.  It is our responsibility to treat nature with respect and return to it when we can.  In our very busy lives,  with many distractions, being surrounded by nature reconnects me to my soul and revitalizes me.  It is in nature that I feel renewed and inspired. 

My goal is to rekindle memories that would make you escape the busy-ness of the modern world.  To be able to reflect back into simpler times and happy memories.  A time to just " be ". 

Each painting is a memory to our connection to Mother Earth, with the hope that my paintings take you back to your special moment and the many stories in between.

To see a wee video of my studio, click here.



Marissa is an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists, Ontario Society of Artists, an active member of Federation of Canadian Artists and East Central Ontario Art Association.  Primarily a landscape painter, her work focuses on reconnecting with mother earth.  Her objective with her paintings is to rekindle memories of peaceful times and escape the demands on our daily lives. With a BA Economics degree and years in various corporate roles, Marissa has been teaching workshops in the Toronto and Durham Region since 2002.

In 2019, Marissa was chosen as one of 18 artists to compete in the inaugural Landscape Artist of the Year Canada. This TV series premiered in February 2020 with CBC and Makeful Cable channel. 

During the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic, Marissa pivoted to teaching art online allowing her to reach an international student base.

In 2021, the City of Oshawa recognized Marissa and was awarded the Professional Artist Award by the Oshawa Culture Counts.  Last November 2022, Marissa was asked to join the Mastrius Online Community, as an artist mentor. 

Marissa is currently the President of the Society of Canadian Artists.



I am inspired by the vast beauty of our natural world.  Here in Ontario, Canada where I live, I am drawn to the beauty of our provincial parks and conservation areas.  Algonquin Provincial Park is one of my favorite destinations and the numerous lakes, creeks and forests inspire me.  

However, you do not have to go far away to find inspiration.  I find unexpected beauty in creeks and marsh land in and around the Durham Region, rural pastures and farmlands.  As a matter of fact, the creek on the ravine behind our home has been a muse for several of my plein air paintings.  Nature surrounds us and I am grateful.


My process usually starts by painting my surface with a red wash.  Once dry, I grid the whole canvas into 9 equal squares to get a general sense of my composition and focal point.  Then I draw in the outline of my landscapes with a chalk pastel and seal it with acrylic paint. 

I usually start painting in loose gestural abstract shapes, using a big brush and covering most of the foreground and focal points first.  Later on in the process I work in the details with a smaller brush, glazing layers and adding texture with a palette knife. 

Plein Air

Painting outdoors has always been a part of me.  When I was in my younger years, I used to bring a set of sketching pencils and draw outside in my garden.  Somehow, watercolour and poster paint came outside as well and I painted happily under a canopy of trees.  Now, I bring my oils with me when I paint outdoors.

Painting on-site brings you up close to the scene you are trying to capture into a two dimensional world.  You feel everything!  Your senses are on high gear, all tuned to your surroundings.  You feel the landscape.  

When I am painting, my response to a particular experience and place grabs me and it is all so very personal and intuitive.  This is something you cannot really break down into a formula.  You have to experience it.  Then from all my experiences in painting, I edit, simplify and find ways to bring the romance of the experience into my work.

Something magical transports me outside-of-myself when I am painting outdoors and this experience transcends into my paintings.  I hope you enjoy them.

I have a few videos about Plein Air on your YouTube Channel.  Here is one video talking about my plein air backpack!  Click here and enjoy!


One of my most memorable highlights for 2020 was the launch of the inaugural TV show, Landscape Artist of the Year Canada!  To be selected as one of the 18 finalists to compete in this non scripted show was absolutely an honour and a thrill!  It challenged me to paint in an unknown location, amidst interviews and surrounded by production crew, competing with top caliber artists for 4 hours.  The whole experience provided me with a sense of accomplishment and a whole roster of new friendships!  You can stream all 4 episodes on CBC Gem.  

Another highlight was my very 1st Plein Air Retreat held last October 2020.  Nothing compares to the wonderful time shared painting with fellow artists and sharing with them the experience of painting outdoors!!!  This year  will be more exciting as we are growing a good community of plein air artists.  I hope you can join me next year. 


Very proud to be represented by these galleries!

Cornerstone Craft and Art Gallery - Kingston, Ontario



Curriculum Vitae 

(for complete CV please email)


2021 Professional Artist Award – Oshawa Culture Counts, City of Oshawa
2020 Honorable Mention – Whitby Fine Art Juried Show
2019 Honorable Mention – East Central Ontario Art Association
2014 Best Derivative Abstract – Oshawa Art Juried Show 
2014Jeanne- Marie McAdam Award – Most Innovative – ECOAA
2012 2nd Best Mixed Media, Oshawa Art Juried Show
2011 Best Mixed Media, Visual Arts Centre, Bowmanville, Ontario
2011 Honorable Mention, Mixed Media, Oshawa Art Juried show
2011 3rd Best Acrylic, Oshawa Art Juried show
2010 2nd Best Mixed Media, Oshawa Art Juried show
2009 Veridian Connections Award, PineRidge Juried Art Show, Nov. 2009

Juried Shows

Society of Canadian Artists’ 2022 Open International Online Juried Show, Toronto
Federation of Canadian Artists’ 2022 Small Exhibition, Vancouver
Society of Canadian Artists’ Open International Online Juried Show, Toronto
Society of Canadian Artists’ Elected Members Exhibition, New Brunswick
Society of Canadian Artists’ International Open Juried Show, Toronto
Society of Canadian Artists’ Online International Juried Show
The Artist Project, Toronto 
Society of Canadian Artists’ International Open Juried Show, Toronto
Society of Canadian Artists’ Online International Juried Show
East Central Ontario Art Association, Peterborough
The Artist Project, Toronto 
The Station Gallery, “Perfect Moment” Juried Show
Uxbridge Celebration of Arts Juried Show
Society of Canadian Artists’ Elected and Associate On-Line Exhibition
Visual Arts Centre, Juried Arts Exhibition
Contemporary Art Gallery Online, Online Juried show
Uxbridge Celebration of Arts Juried Show, Uxbridge 
Oshawa Art Association, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa
Society of Canadian Artists’, Celebrating Canada’s 150th New Brunswick
Society of Canadian Artists’, Art Square Elected Members show, Toronto
Uxbridge Celebration of Arts, Uxbridge, Ontario
Contemporary Art Gallery Online, Maryland, USA
East Central Ontario Art Association, Visual Art Centre, Bowmanville
Philippine Artists Group, Neilson Park Creative Centre, Etobicoke
Oshawa Art Association, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa
PineRidge Arts Council, McLean Centre Ajax
The Station Gallery Juried Show, Whitby, Ontario
PineRidge Arts Council, McLean Centre, Ajax
Oshawa Art Association, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
Visual Art Centre, Bowmanville, Ontario
47th Society of Canadian Artists 
The Station Gallery, Whitby, Ontario


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