About Me

Artist Grace Marquez in Nerac France

Hello! So glad you made it here.

I'm Grace and I paint the underwater world. I'm an avid technical diver, wreck diver and cave diver as well as a scuba instructor.

I paint for water lovers like myself and for people who yearn for the magical escape that can be found just below the water line. 

 

Creativity in many forms

I've been an artist for as long as I can remember. I was the one that drew on the walls growing up! I believe creativity is a muscle everyone can learn to use. Some have stronger muscles than others, but that's only because they use that muscle more often. I used my creativity to teach art and design, to direct teams of artists art designers, and to help corporate worlds brainstorm new and innovative ideas. I truly love the exploration aspect of creativity and value both the intuitive process as well as having a bit of structure inside which to try new ideas!

 

Grace taking a selfie underwater while diving in Lake Huron in Tobermory

Jumpstarted into diving by Jackfish

From a young child up until I was a teenager, I used to have a recurring dream of being underwater and swimming with a school of huge silvery blue jackfish all around me. It was like they knew me. I had this dream over and over but as an adult it suddenly stopped. I had forgotten all about this until I went back to the Philippines for the first time as an adult and saw a group of jackfish swirling around in shallow water beside our boat in Palawan. It all came flooding back to me and funny enough - that's the trip where I did my first scuba dive. It was as if my subconscious reminded me at a time when I was most open to it, that I was a creature of the water. I was hooked after that discover scuba diving session and when I came home, I got my certification and haven't stopped diving since.

 

Grace Marquez artist in the studio

My process

My paintings often start while on a dive. While I'm underwater, I'm experiencing things and seeing sights I already want to capture in colours and compositions. My dives are the start of every painting I've ever made. I aim to capture the wonder and awe I feel in the textures, strokes and layers of colour that make up the light and darkness; movement and life in the water world. I take my goPro with me on dives to record what I see. Back in the studio, I review the videos and pull stills from them. This is the beginning of the subject matter I want to paint. The still is just a jumping off point and reference. The rest of the painting is my memory and impression of that moment.

 

My Inspiration

I'm fascinated by the transformative power of water - how it changes and absorbs light as it moves through, how it shapes rocks and geology as it passes over it and how whole environments will change over time as mother nature reclaims it. It's so powerful.

Initially, scuba diving didn't come easily to me. I wasn't comfortable and a bit fearful, to be honest. Over time, with great training every step of the way, and by diving with exceptionally good divers, I expanded my circle of comfort to the point where I can fully appreciate these environments because of what it took for me personally to get there. 

 

10 Random Facts About Me

  1. I've spent a month teaching in a small village in Tanzania and slept under the stars during a safari and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro while I was there.

  2. I could eat ice cream every single day of my life and my favourite flavour is pistachio.

  3. I've swam with one light in hand, in a little known cenote in Mexico where there are still the skeletal remains of the Mayan human sacrifices if you dive down to the bottom of the pit.

  4. I have an adorable fur baby named Joey who is a two year old German Shepherd that I love with all my heart.

  5. I'm fairly certain that while on a cave dive in the Dominican Republic, a water spirit touched my leg, gave me warning to GO NO FARTHER and turn back about 4900 feet into the cave.

  6. When I was younger, I used to pretend I was a sassy girl named Sasha whenever I was nervous about something, to help me get through it.

  7. Chocolates and pastries are my kryptonite.

  8. I have a primordial fear of snakes. And Zombies.

  9. I love to go hiking along with Joey (but am very wary of said snakes).

  10. I'm a huge fantasy and sci-fi nut. Tolkien and trekkie - "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us" so "Live Long and Prosper"!

 

My Bio 

I've exhibited in the U.S., Canada and France. My work is found in private collections around the world. 

 

Features:

 

Residencies:

2022 - September at Studio Faire in Nérac France. 

 

Shows and Awards:

November 30 - December 4, 2022.
Remote Gallery, 568B Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario.
"Ripples" Solo Show
September 13, 2021.

 

September 13, 2021.
La Taverne d'Henri,  10 Pl. du Général de Gaulle, 47600 Nérac, France
"For the Love of Caves" Collaboration with cellist Emily Adele Williams and video presentation by Grace including her Lot cave paintings.

 

April 29 - July 22, 2022.
Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre, 247 Ricardo Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
"A Celebration of Gardens" Group Show

 

December 1, 2021.
Certificate of Merit, Luxembourg Art Prize and Museum.
Awarded for distinction from a qualitative perspective based on her work.

May 2021.
Conception Arts - Frieze Week Edition, Online Group Exhibit
Awarded for distinction with Art Business Scholarship. 

 

October 8 - 14, 2020.
North Dakota Museum of Art, 261 Centennial Drive Stop 7305, Grand Forks North Dakota, USA.
Two of her paintings from her "Look Up" series were included in the experimental exhibition called Art In Isolation.

 

March 5 - 8, 2020.
Remote Gallery, 568B Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario.
‚ÄúWaterlust‚Ä̬†is an introduction to the reefs, wrecks and caves that inspire her work. Get a glimpse into these sacred places below the water line.

 

December 2 - 8, 2019
Eduardo Lira Art Gallery, Wynwood Walls District, Miami, Florida.
As a participant in the ArtBox Project, Miami, Grace exhibited one of her soft pastel on paper drawings entitled¬†‚ÄúCoral Containment‚ÄĚ.

 

Education:

1996 - Sheridan College, Computer Graphics

1994 - Queen's University, B.F.A.

 

Organizations:

ūüôā

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