Marie Massey


I use a Painting in Layers method, developed by Artist, Barbara Marquardt, that combines the Renaissance artists’ concepts of Chiarscuro with color ideas from the Impressionist painters.  I start with a small sketch, first in pencil and paper to work out the composition, the values and important relationships. Then I move to an acrylic sketch on canvas. I paint in layers: first two layers of underpainting in acrylic, using colors complementary to the final true colors and in the same values. This method creates a structural foundation for the final layer in oil. I continue to sketch and re-sketch using a sensitive line so that the image achieves an organic quality with the impression of movement and dimension.  I also use an open stroke so that the complementary colors of the underpainting show through.  Then I bring it all together by finding some edges and sharpening them while leaving others lost.  I also push and pull my values to ensure  atmospheric perspective and emphasize the focal point of the painting.


My latest work has been focused on landscapes – gardens, architecture and natural scenes. I have also completed several paintings in my new Voyeur Series which is a collection of informal figurative paintings.  In addition, I continue to enjoy portrait and wildlife work. Inspirations include Monet, Renoir, Bonnard, Cezanne, Gaughan, Jackson Pollock and Wolf Kahn. I admire the ability of these artists to take a fresh look at the world both inside and outside themselves, see the beauty of it and express it. It is my aspiration to do the same.


Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, award-winning artist, Marie Massey, has been drawing and painting since she could hold a pencil. Her earliest memories of painting date back to 4 years old in her Grandmother’s garden with some water colors, pencil and a rose as her subject.  Since those early years, Marie has sought to express her deep appreciation for the beauty of nature, wildlife and humanity in her artwork. Marie’s work has evolved from highly detailed realism in water color to loose, impressionistic paintings in oil.


She credits this transition with the method of painting in layers which she learned from her mentor and teacher, Barbara Marquardt.  “This method has helped me to unleash my creativity and allow the magic to happen on the canvas.” she says.  Marie’s work is has been described as American Impressionism, distinguished by exciting use of brilliant color, unique composition, and elements of expressionism.


Marie studied art at the California College of Arts and Crafts, U.C. Santa Barbara and the Loveland Academy of Art as well as with many well-known contemporary artists. She teaches both plein air and studio workshops.  In 2014 Marie was juried into the California Art League as an Exhibiting Member.  Also in 2014, Marie founded the Central Coast Plein Air Painters.  In 2013, Marie and fellow artist, Diane Edwards, founded Paint the Poudre Plein Air, a plein air painting competition and exhibition that benefits the preservation and conservation of the Cache La Poudre River in Colorado.  Marie is also a member of the Carmel Art Association, The Central Coast Art Association, Estes Park Plein Air Painters, and the Artist Association of Northern Colorado.


Marie travels extensively and loves to plein aire paint in beautiful places around the world including the US, Europe, the Carribean, Central and South America. She also enjoys painting wildlife, portraiture, and still life.


Marie’s work is represented by the San Francisco Women Artists Gallery in San Francisco, Independence Gallery in Loveland, CO and Gallery 620 in Pacific Grove, CA.  Marie has also shown at galleries in Carmel, Healdsburg,Taos, Sedona, and New York.  Her artwork has been juried into many national and prestigious shows across the U.S. at which she has won numerous awards for her oil paintings including Best of Show, 2nd, 3rd and many Honorable Mentions. Marie has a long list of avid collectors and she has done many successful commissions for private and corporate clients.Her work has sold well and hangs in private collections throughout the country.


With a BA in Political Economy from UC Berkeley, and an MBA from Golden Gate University, before turning to painting full time, Marie founded Concept2Profit, a marketing and business development consultancy in the Silicon Valley. Marie enjoys using her business background in volunteer work to promote the arts and care for the environment and wildlife. Marie shares her time between her Dolphin Dunes Studio in La Selva Beach, CA and her Painted Meadows Studio in Bellvue, CO.


Marie Massey

Bellvue, CO

United States