MARSHA CONNELL was nurtured in her love for art, nature, and learning by her grandfather, Samuel Riss, watercolor painter and Renaissance farmer in Upstate New York. She expresses this legacy in her passion for the environment, and through painting en plein air.
Marsha Connell’s paintings are a dance in color. She combines observation—mirroring the natural world—with improvisation—giving voice to the spirit of place. Watching, listening, hiking, dancing, trusting intuition and gesture, infuses her painterly representation with an energetic and abstract sensibility.
She is a graduate of Skidmore College with a B. S. in Fine Arts and San Francisco State University with a Masters in Sculpture. Marsha has been on the art faculty of Santa Rosa Junior College for many years and is a visiting artist at Sonoma State University.
She has received grants from the Pepperwood Foundation and the California Arts Council and has been a Fellow of the California Arts Project.
Marsha is Chair of the Steering Committee for Sonoma County Art Trails Open Studios, a program of Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Her Santa Rosa studio, #24 on the 2017 Art Trails map, will be open to the public from 10-5 on October 14, 15, 21, and 22, and by appointment the rest of the year. A Collector’s Guide to 141 artists’ studios is available online at http://www.sonomacountyarttrails.org or by calling 707-829-4797. She also chairs the year round Art Trails Gallery at Corricks, 637 4th Street, in Downtown Santa Rosa, where she regularly exhibits her paintings.
Marsha has presented art workshops and lectures in diverse locales, from California to Alaska, New Mexico, Oregon, New York, Mexico and France. She has participated in numerous exhibitions regionally and internationally, and her work is in many private, healthcare, and public collections.
She loves to collaborate with scientists, teaching drawing to master naturalist students, and with other artists and teachers, expanding the parameters of the arts and the joys of creative process for students of every age and in many disciplines.