Marni Sheppard is an artist whose works explore the sim biotic relationship between nature and humanity while evoking the “spirit of the forest” through abstraction. This juxtaposition allows for her to be an experimental painter as she captures these portraits of trees while connecting the viewer to nature. Marni uses found or hand-made tools and paint brushes made from feathers to fish tails to create intentional unexpected marks. Her way of creating forces the perfection of imperfection to exist. This concept bridges the constructed world we live into a natural world free of convention. It also connects her art to the viewer through the depth and details found in her works. “Everything is connected in nature. All we need to do is follow the line with our eyes and our heart.” This way of creating and distressing her tools was inspired by her mentor and teacher Gordon Smith’s concept of making and reacting to an unexpected mark.
Marni was born in Vancouver, Canada. She studied fine art at Emily Carr College and, design at Kwantlen College. She then went onto Art Center College of Design in Switzerland and Pasadena CA graduating with honors in Communication Design with a BFA. After a successful design career, Marni transitioned to teaching art and design. She taught design at Art Center and painting at Path with Art, an organization that is dedicated to transforming the lives of people recovering from homelessness, addiction, and other trauma through art and creativity. In addition to being a full time artist, Marni was the president of Mercer Island Fine Arts Advisory Council for six years, a 40 year old nonprofit dedicated to providing strong visual and performing arts programs in the local public education system in the state of Washington.
She has showed her work at SFMOMA’s artist gallery and also at NYMOMA on exhibit as well as galleries throughout the US and Canada. Her works hang in private and corporate collections in North America and Europe.