Marsha Connell is a Northern California artist known for her evocative collages and her colorist paintings in oil, watercolor, and pastel. Her work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows and in art and literary publications.
An Adjunct Professor in Santa Rosa Junior College’s Art Department and Associate Seminar Professor in Sonoma State University’s Depth Psychology Program, she has also presented workshops and lectures in many California venues, as well as in Alaska, New Mexico, Oregon, New York, and Mexico.
On this web site you can view Marsha’s art and learn about exhibitions and galleries where her work can be seen. You can also find information about workshops and creative retreats.
Selected images from Marsha’s painterly and luminous plein air paintings are now available to a wider audience in elegant limited edition giclée prints. While some of the original paintings are in private collections, many are still available for purchase. The Dream Vessels are available as limited edition color laser collage/prints.
My artwork has two major directions: expressive landscape
painting and narrative collage.
My paintings are about the spirit of place. Though my
subjects are inspired by my travels both here and abroad, I find some
of my most resonant themes in
where I have lived for over thirty years. Painting on location, en
plein air, in oil, watercolor, or pastel, I observe the place:
mood, shapes, color, and spatial relationships. I reflect on how the
sense of place affects my own interior landscape.
The energetic pleasure of moving brush and paint keeps me
from getting distracted by small details. I am attentive to nuances of
color and value, but do not require fidelity to local color;
expressive color often feels more true. Watching, listening, trusting
intuition and gesture-infuse my painterly representation with an
I enrich the freshness of the initial exploration with the
luminosity that builds from glazing and scumbling layers of color,
continuing over time with return visits to a site and more meditative
painting in the studio. This can evoke a new place of some mystery to
me, a place of the heart.
Giclée prints in limited fine art editions make the
oil painting images available to a wider audience.
The Dream Vessels collages bring together elements
from dreams, of the night and the day. They are story and metaphor,
merging images of destruction and healing, of vanitas, the
poignant awareness of death in the midst of the beauty and sweetness
of life. Begun in 1991 as letters without words to my daughter during
the Persian Gulf War, they continue in a series of over one hundred
fifteen titles. Color laser xerography transforms them into limited
edition collage/prints, enhancing the visual unity.
Investigations in other media keep open channels of
creative expression that support connection and meaning-sculpture
installations, poetry, working from the body in figurative drawing and
bronzes, creative dance and Authentic Movement.
Mountains and the Sea
She had the landscape in her arms
when she painted it.
She knew the score like a conductor
reaching for the violins, the cellos,
soaring, arcing into drumbeats
weaving melodic color
songs penetrating silent white canvas.
I have the landscape in my body.
I have been walking it, dancing it,
breathing it, sleeping it, eating it.
Now I listen to it, digest it. Color it
moody. Meet it in a new language
we learn to speak together.
We mirror each other.
Doors open to the inner landscape.
To Helen Frankenthaler