Capturing Life's Beauty: Maralee's Artistic Journey
Maralee has always been creative, winning the art scholarship in high school, but putting that on the back burner, while marrying young and having 5 amazing children. “I dabbled in the arts throughout my adult life, but for the most part, I thought I buried this gift” she said.
One late night in 2012 Maralee was pondering who she was, and realized that even though her creativity had been on the back burner, she was an artist. She connected to Mat Tommey, an artist mentor from Asheville, North Carolina, and began to unbury her talent.
Since then, Maralee has had the opportunity to participate in workshops with master artists at the River Arts District in Asheville, North Carolina, has visited master artists in Carmel, California, and worked with artists at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts in Minnesota. She has collaborated with artists in Germany, and created art inspired by trips to northern Italy, and Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France.
Maralee’s art is inspired by the joy she experiences in the beauty of God’s creation while taking hikes through the woods, adventuring in her Jeep, getting out on the lakes, (and once in awhile, on a horse). When she is out an about, Maralee often takes pictures of those moments. Her hope is that she can capture the feeling she had, and bring it back it back to life on canvas for the viewer to find a place of rest and refreshing.
As she developed her creativity, she art has been awarded the people’s choice award for Grand View Lodge’s annual wine label competition sponsored by Minnesota Monthly magazine. Her work has been displayed at the Laura H. Miles Gallery at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, and she was commissioned to produce sketches for one of the versions of the Passion Bible translation.
In addition to creating art, Maralee teaches art workshops and speaks at events. She enjoys teaching groups at Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge, Hope Kids from the Spina Bifida Foundation, and various other events. She loves teaching workshops to help unlock the inner artist in the students she teaches. In addition to workshops, as a form of visual art, Maralee sometimes paints live, on stage, bringing inspiration and hope to her audiences. Maralee has also served as a mentor for the Creative to Thrive Artist Mentoring Program.
Maralee uses a wide variety of creative mediums; however, much of her early work was done in acrylic. With the onset of Covid-19, most workshops were postponed. Still, she sees it as a blessing in disguise. During Covid-19, she enrolled, and graduated, from the prestigious Milan Art Institute Mastery Program, an online art school. The rigorous coursework explored creative mediums with 290 courses. As a result of working through the program, her work now includes a broad array of mediums including: charcoals, oils, mixed media, inks, and graphic arts.
Maralee has never lost her sense of wonder. As an artist,her desire is that her art pieces would help open people’s eyes to the beauty all around them, bringing them their own wonder and serenity.