Friday, February 17, 2012

I recently had a piece in San Francisco gallery Modern Eden's group show entitled "Menagerie," an animal themed show to benefit the San Francisco chapter of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Here's a link to a short write up I did for Hi-Fructose Magazine on the opening and below are a few of my favorite pieces from the show.

I received the invitation to participate in the show back in December, so I had a few months to consider what I was going to create. I took an extended climbing trip to Las Vegas (more on this later) and used the many hours I spent hiking in the desert to begin planning my piece. 

This process is very diffuse and difficult to describe- it mostly involves relaxing my logical mind and just observing what kind of images flow through my imagination. I began to be able to see an image involving a pelvis, with other activity occurring around, beneath, or above it. I then began to look for reference material online, scouring scientific illustration sites until I found the sort of pelvis and animals I wanted to include. Then I began sketching out the piece, moving elements around until I found a harmony and balance (with a slight edge of tension) that I enjoyed. I'm really interested in playing with symmetry that upon closer investigation is not symmetrical at all. Through this process, my piece evolved and began to demand tiny little lines and dots of detail. The actual drawing and rendering process only took about five days (which of course took place during the five days before the piece was due). 

When it was complete, I was surprised to see the latent symbology of the piece. I really never plan for a piece to represent a certain thing, and it's often only after its completed that I get to understand what I was creating all along. With this piece, it was apparent to me that I had drawn a representations of an embryo blooming upwards from a pelvis with a burst of flowers representing the force of life. Surrounding this were representation of death encircling the life, with the bats above, the skulls to the side, and the predator chasing the prey below. It also became clear that there were several vaginal shapes hidden in the patterns of the orbs that I had meticulously drawn (each one took about an hour). With these observations, I titled the piece "Embryo." 

In progress...

The finished piece.
Available for purchase here. 

A big 'thank you' to Modern Eden for inviting me to participate in this show. It's such a gift to be asked to share the inner workings of my mind and heart, allowing me to learn and discover so much along the way.



  1. I love your piece Marisa, and the picture of you by it is so cute! Even though I like your work best, I also really appreciate how you support the work of other artists so openly and kindly. You're wonderful :)

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  3. Your work always invokes in me a strong sense female strength and power. It is enlightening to read and engage in the process that you engage in while creating your work. I find it more valuable when I am trying to appreciate and enjoy art to hear what the artist was thinking and how his or her process culminates in the final work. While I also enjoy thinking of what art means to me, I feel more connected to pieces when I feel that I connect an have an understanding with the artist. Beautiful Marisa, and glad to hear that you are collaborating and coordinating with other artists in such a positive environment.

  4. Was very cool to see it come together. Another amazing piece, featured in an outstanding gallery in just the last few months! Lovely work, lovely lady.

  5. Your talent is boundless. Keep on pushing it. I can't wait to see your next amazing piece.