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Primarily self-taught, my artwork is centered around our relationship with the natural world. 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.
Marissa is an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists and Ontario Society of Artists who integrates the principles of Feng Shui into her artwork. Her practice in this ancient form of metaphysics has inspired her to create landscapes that brings awareness to our interconnectivity to nature.
With a BA Economics degree and years in various corporate roles, Marissa currently facilitates art workshops in the Durham Region and at her home studio. She has attended various courses at the Toronto School of Art and is a member of numerous art associations.
In 2019, she was one of the 18 selected artists to participate in the inaugural Landscape Artist of the Year Canada TV show on CBC and Makeful TV. Marissa is currently the President of the Society of Canadian Artists and a member of the Ontario Society of Artists, East Central Ontario Arts Association and Federation 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.
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.
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
Kefi Art Gallery Contemporary Fine Art, Toronto, Ontario
OceanArt Gallery and Education, Richmond Hill, Ontario
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