Marissa Quinn is a professional artist living and working out of her seaside studio in Encinitas California! When she’s not in the studio painting, she loves surfing or hiking or reading a good book at a coffee shop for fun.
Get to know Marissa
How long have you been painting and what’s your favorite Medium to use?
My earliest memories of drawing go back to my early childhood years- on the weekends my Dad would spread out the comics page from the newspaper onto the kitchen table and we would re-draw the characters on computer paper and make up our own comics. I remember I was always doodling something or always excited to get a new coloring book. I even remember the smell of the old wooden box full of crayons that my three sisters and I would share, and how peaceful it felt to color in the chaos of a large family.
Since childhood, I have always gravitated toward the visual form of creative expression- its my safe space and something that comes naturally for me. Because of this, and because I discovered that people pay more attention to larger issues through visual expression, I decided to go to school for art and now have a Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) degree as well as a Master of Fine Art (MFA) degree.
I started seriously painting during my graduate school years, where I concentrated in watercolor and illustration. Since then I have been professionally painting for the past three years, and watercolor with pen and ink are definitely my favorite mediums to use.
What inspired the image you created on the Penny board?
The image I created on the Penny Board is a re-creation of the image on the tail patch on my surfboard, which I hand-painted into the foam before the board was glassed. The painting is a moon cycle surrounded by sunflowers and honeybees with a dusty desert rose sunset color in the background. When I painted this on my board two years ago, it all came together without any plan, just some good music and the flow of free-hand painting, which resulted in one of my favorite works of art to-date- my surfboard.
Symbolically, I wanted to create a board that honors the connection of the moon with the tides of the sea, as well as illustrating that all life on the planet is connected- even the honeybee and the sea are connected. Additionally, sunflowers are powerful symbols, representing global peace and a world without nuclear weapons. These flowers often show up in my work with the honeybee, which symbolizes the Divine Feminine as the mysterious healer of our planet.
I decided to re-create aspects of this on my Penny Boards in order to spread the message of peace on land and peace in the sea because all life is connected.
What is your favorite size penny to ride?
My favorite size Penny to ride is the 36” Longboard! It’s so Groovy!
Any tips for someone who wants to paint for a living?
Make it part of your lifestyle- do it everyday, no matter what, to keep improving your skill and to keep creativity flowing free. Don’t be afraid to try something new because the thing you are afraid to do is the the thing that will teach you the most. Remember that failure is often the gateway to breakthrough.
You’re in Bali at the moment but do you have any exciting travel plans coming up?
Yes! Bali is amazing! I’m here creating a mural for ocean conservation through PangeaSeed Foundation and SeaWalls! I’m a traveler, so I’ve got several more plans to adventure onward before the end of the year- next stop, Big Sur California for the monarch butterfly migration in October!
To keep up with Marissa’s adventures, be sure to follow her on Instagram!