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  • Writer's pictureMarissa Villescas

Behind The Artist

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

Long before I was a wife, mother to three children, soap maker, dog mom, and a teacher, I was an artist. I was a seven-year-old little girl with her box of crayons and watercolors who loved art, carrying around my small 1980s cardboard pencil box filled with scraps of paper, scissors, and paints. I was drawn in like a fly to honey to painting walls and furniture that needed extra love and color. I also loved cutting out hand-drawn pieces for the bulletin boards at school and church, and creating craft kits to take to summer camp. Art was always just a part of who I was.

My earliest memory of loving art came in third grade when I worked on a perspective painting assignment of the Emerald City of Oz. My love of creating an entire world filled with buildings and little details consumed my days until I finally needed to turn in the assignment. I was so nervous because I didn’t think I was as good of an artist as another kid in my class. So I stuffed it at the bottom of the wire “turn in” basket and hoped nobody would see it. When I came to school the next day I found my art teacher putting it up outside the room in a space to showcase some unique art. She told me it made her smile to see what I had done, it may not have looked exactly as the things should have looked in real life, but that was also art. I couldn’t believe that my interpretation of Oz could make people smile, I knew then that art needed to be part of me.

My love of art continued on through my teenage years and followed me through college and eventually motherhood, disguising itself as “creative” or “crafty”or in the form of my own soap making business. Without a lot of time to pursue art, it sat, like an ever-present, colorful cloud waiting for its time to pour. At the point I needed it most, that art cloud did just that and rained color all over my world. What started as a hobby has painted every nook and cranny in my life. I began to see my life through the lens of an artist. My passion for plants and gardening deepened as I drew and painted them. Birds that have flown into my life have made their way into my sketchbook. Also my love of architecture and the importance and meaning of home has grown from tiny villages to large cities of the world.

Having a love for children’s literature from my teaching and mothering days, I am influenced by Golden Book illustrators such as Richard Scarry, Mary Blair, and Garth Williams. Other artists from beloved children’s books like Eric Carle, Beatrix Potter, and Ludwig Bemelmans. I also have favorites in the Golden Age of Illustration, Arthur Rackham , E.H. Shepard, and Jessie Wilcox Smith. All these authors have such beautiful details in line and color choices. They transport me to another place and draw me in to the words of the story.

Although I am a self-taught artist and illustrator, I have a passion for learning and am always exploring new ways of using color and techniques. I love working with a variety of materials, but have been called time and again to watercolor, acrylic paint, paper, scissors, and thread. My work is often described as adventurous and whimsical. My daily inspiration comes from nature, adventuring, and fresh air, as well as a lifetime of exploration in the world around me with people I love. I can often be found with my camera, photographing nature and creatures, taking walks with my family, or at home sketching birds, butterflies, flowers, and whimsical tiny worlds.

Since 2016 when we sold our home in Denver, Colorado my family and I have been traveling and living all over the western United States in places such as the tropical paradise of Kauai, Hawaii, exciting Las Vegas, Nevada, the nourishing Pacific Northwest, the peaceful plains of Colorado, and the historic capital of Santa, Fe, New Mexico. Our love for seeing new landscapes never ends.

I am always looking to expand and work with new friends and companies. Contact me here for more information.


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