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Artist Studio: Marsha Mills


Marsha Mills
PO Box 1172
Bridgeton, NC  28519
www.artbymarshamills.com


Born: 1950 (Roanoke, VA)

Lived/Active: North Carolina

Profession(s): Painter

Known for: Animal, Western, Seascape

Style(s): Realist, Impressionist, Modernist

Medium(s): Oil, Watercolor, Wash

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Museums:
Smithsonian, Washington D.C., District Of Columbia
Temple University Museum, Rome, Italy
Wright Museum, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina


Dealers or Representatives:
David Hovasse

Artist Statement:

Growing up in a home where being an artist was not allowed... I can remember going to my room, locking the door, and drawing for hours. Forced to conceal my talent, I would then hide the drawings in a box in the back of my closet. During college, my parents insisted that I major in Computer Science because Art was not a “career type” major. When my father realized all my electives were in art, he pulled me out of school.  Only after I got married was I able to go back to college and pursue a Bachelor of Fine Art degree. I majored in design because I felt either an interior or fashion design degree would result in marketable skills, a career necessity about which I agreed with my father. However, my degree remained unfinished due to giving birth to my first son on the day I was required to have my Senior Show final critique and exam. Therefore, my life’s direction changed once again as I became a stay-at-home mom.

While having three sons and adopting one, my days were filled with ballgames, homework, housework and diapers. Despite this full schedule, my world of painting began to reopen and flourish. Painting became my way of escaping a world of all males and provided me something that was truly my own. For years I experimented with oil and then I decided to challenge myself and really got into the media of dry brush watercolor. I worked every night after my children went to bed and while my husband was busy with his accounting. It became such an obsession that I would some nights work until 3 or 4 in the morning before realizing it. Although the next day with the kids would be very hard, I still looked forward to the next night and my next opportunity to drift back into my art world.

In 1982, one of my friends asked me to draw her two children and offered me $75 for each finished piece. Another friend suggested that I enter my painting of two rabbits in a local art show - and I won Best of Show. This marked the beginning of my career from a painter to artist.

Little changed until 1987 when I entered and became (chose from approximately 2300 other artist) a finalist in the “Art for the Parks” contest, a national, government-sponsored art contest to find promotional paintings for the National Parks. The resulting publicity led to more and more commission work. I was at last doing what I loved to do and making money at it, something I had been told growing up was impossible.

Since then I have become an official artist for the American Kennel Club. I was also chose as the national artist for the 100 Year Celebration of Flight which included four paintings of the Wright Brothers, prints of which were accepted by The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

As the years have passed, I've throughly enjoyed doing commission pieces of all kinds as well as philanthropic works to raise money for good causes. Lately though, I've come to the conclusion that it's time for me to present my private collection to the public in order to express what I've been wanting to convey for a long, long time...my vision of the world.  

There is nothing I would rather do at my age and for years to come than my art. I still feel as though I am only at the beginning of my career, having so many new ideas that are just waiting to be brought out on paper or canvas. I hope to be painting until the day I leave this earth; only then will I feel I have had a great and complete show.

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