Marian's Photo

Artist Statement:

I am an award winning botanical artist and animal portraitist.

Sometimes life takes us in directions we never would have dreamed. This happened to me. Shortly before my 65th birthday, my husband died. Shortly thereafter I retired from my 10-year position as CEO of the Greater Minneapolis Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. Then relatively soon after retiring I began my journey in art as a way to find happiness.

These major changes left me wondering how to create a new life for myself that would be filled with meaning, passion, and service to others. I chanced upon an ad in the newspaper. The Minnesota School of Botanical Art was offering a beginner’s course in botanical art with colored pencil as the medium. Pursuing a new interest seemed to be a positive way to cope with my grief, and so I enrolled in my very first art course.

Although, in my childhood my artistic creativity was evident, my prior life had not prepared me for becoming as artist. I had a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and Psychology, a master’s degree in Public Health, a lifetime of working in healthcare, from nursing positions, to hospital senior administrative positions, and then to my final position as the CEO of the Greater Minneapolis Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. Along with my husband, I had raised two daughters, and have always enjoyed our dogs and pet parrots. My love of nature still remains as my passion. But through this pivotal course experience, and to my delight, I discovered a talent that I had never tapped.

Within a year of enrolling in this art course, my artwork was being juried into art festivals, and a bit later, my botanical art paintings began being juried into botanical art exhibitions. Three years after taking the course, my “Tulip in Vase” painting was awarded “Best of Show” at the 2010 juried art exhibition of Episcopal Homes Art Fest, Minneapolis. Along the way, I expanded my subject matter to include animal portraiture and other subjects. Critiques of my artwork by local college art professors noted that I am a gifted, primarily self-taught, artist with skillful use of rich depth of color and scientifically accurate depictions of of details of my subjects. My artwork continues to be juried into many art shows, and receive accolades and top honors. As my artwork continues to sell, I founded my small business, Stonebridge Gardens Fine Art, LLC.