Fall in Love.

It's always such a pleasure to paint a beautiful mother. This is Melanie. Her portrait was a surprise birthday present from her husband Thomas. He thought it would be an original and personal gift.

Thomas was very sweet with the process, trusting my creativity and judgement in regard to background, color, style, etc.

"I don't expect a hyper-realistic portrait, rather a stylistic one. So feel free to do according to what the pictures I sent you inspire you."

When I asked if there was any specific reason why he chose the portrait as a present, he responded: "I thought she would be touched. I wanted to find a new way to say “I love you."

I was especially flattered since Thomas was introduced to me from Antony, a previous customer who also got a portrait made of his wife: Aqua Girl.

When I began my painting Melanie, I saw her natural beauty radiating from the simple moment in fall that the camera captured. I loved the colours in the background, and I really wanted to emphasis the gold ochre, and earth tones of falls rich autumn.

When I showed Thomas, he was really happy! He wrote:

"I love it. She loves it. Everybody loves it. Very nice mix of colour and texture. It captures her natural beauty very well."

Thomas suggested I name the piece "Fall in Love" since I picked the colours of autumn, and as a symbol of his love for his beautiful wife.

I thought it was pretty darn perfect.


Baby Abigail.

A long-time family friend, brought baby Abigail into this world. Although I haven't met her in person, I was super excited to paint this adorable, tiny and sweet little thing. It was a gift from my mother to her friend Angela, Abigail's grandma.

The little flower in her hair did it for me. Ain't she the cutest? The photo of the painting is taken from my phone, so it's a little blurry and washed out. I didn't have my canon with me when I had to give it away =(

I think I love you little Abigail, and can't wait to meet you in person.

Big Love,


Jour Noir.

Recently I became part of a talented artists collective here in Toronto, called The Guild.


It was co-founded by three super cool and talented chicks: Heather Jean Taylor, Holly Russel and Carmen Leah. In their debut event this past June, Meet the Guild ~ the presenting artist were suppose to incorporate gold in their work.

I painted two girls: 


The Glitter – Goddess – City of Angels – Free Spirit – Sunshine – Beach - GOLDEN State.

Watercolor – Gold Acrylic – Prismacolor Pencils

18x24 - Framed 19 ¾x 27 ½"



Determination – Heart of GOLD  – Pain – LOVE – Warrior – Tears - Feathers.

Watercolor – Gold Acrylic – Prismacolor Pencils

18x24 - Framed 19 ¾x 27 ½"

I got to see some awesome work including a piece by a graffiti artist I admire named Anser, whose work I have seen all over the streets of Toronto: Read more: Here and Here

Jour Noir Poster

Now I'm back in their second art show Jour Noir, in conjunction with Scotiabank’s Nuit Blanche. The show is themed  after the book 1984 by George Orwell, artists are encouraged to mainly use the color white. (I tried, I tried!)


REX 84.

Acrylic on Canvas. 48 x 48

I fucking hate rats. They make me sick. O'Brien and I have something in common. 'the worst thing in the world (for both of us) happens to be rats.'  Interestingly enough, the rex rat is white. So I painted some white rats. When researching I was twitching with discomfort. I wanted to combine my hate and fear of the rats with the love and tranquility I feel from painting my girls. I must admit, it helped a little and I do like my little rex rats... But it doesn't mean I want to be in the same room as them, dead or alive. I also found out (randomly) that title of this piece Rex 84, short for Readiness Exercise 1984, was an alleged classified "scenario and drill" developed by the United States federal government to suspend the United States Constitution, declare martial law, place military commanders in charge of state and local governments, and detain large numbers of American citizens who are deemed to be "national security threats", in the event that the President declares a "State of National Emergency".

Nothing really to do with my painting, or the book, but it resonated with me because of the "state of emergency" part. That's me, my panic button going off if I ever come across a rat, god forbid.  

Like the poster says above, the show is this Saturday from 5:00 - 8:30. Be there for more bright white 1984 inspired works. And, don't forget, Big Brother is watching you...

Summer Love.

This little portrait is of a sweet couple named Jen and Ryan. They met, fell in love, and had a beautiful waterfront wedding in Port Dover, Ontario- in the heat of July, with all their closest family and friends. The portrait is a watercolor representation of their engagement photo. I was given a really tiny resolution image to work with, so I am grateful I had the chance to meet this couple a few weeks before I made this painting, so I could really see their beautiful faces and feel their love for each other.

It was magic. Real summer love.  I was honored to paint them as a gift from my aunt Mary- Anne who is their parents dear neighbor and a very close friend of Jen's family. I heard the wedding was a blast! 

Congrats Jen and Ryan.
I wish you guys so much love and happiness always and forever.


And Then There Was Three...

I think the first portrait I ever did "for real" was for Lara and Travis. About 3 years ago when I was playing around doing portraits of my friends and family I thought about doing one for them as their wedding gift. Little did I know that their gift would blaze a trail. After marriage, Lara and Travis introduced the most the most beautiful little girl I have ever seen into this world. Just like her parents, she is absolutely gorgeous. Baby Iyla. She has a sparkle in her eye that wee one. Her solo portrait is coming soon!

I was so excited to paint a portrait of this sweet family now of three. As you can see they are just as perfect as can be! Three years sure flew bye fast, Happy Anniversary.

Here are the questions I got Lara to answer for me...

Who is the portrait of?
Its a family photo of myself, my daughter, and my husband.

Why did you choose to get this portrait made?
Marina made me a portrait of my husband and I as a wedding present and I wanted to add to our "Marina" collection with our new bundle for our wedding anniversary.

Is there anything else you would like to share about the photograph or person in the painting?This photo was taken at Suzanne and Alex's wedding and was the first wedding Iyla attended. We had a fabulous time!

How did you hear about Marina’s art?I have known Marina since high school. She has been a very dear friend of my sister and I for many years. She is extremely talented in so many art facets and I am excited to add this family portrait to our "Marina" collection!

Love you Lara and Travis and Little Iyla.
Congrats on your Wedding Anniversary ~ Can't wait to squeeze you in real life.

Aqua Girl.

Meet Aqua Girl. Her real name is Megan. It was a custom portrait for her birthday from her husband Antony. Antony was nice enough to answer the questioniarre so you can read about why this picture got to become a painting...

Who is the portrait of?

The portrait is of my wife Megan, from our trip to St. Lucia last year.

Why did you choose to get this portrait made?

Megan, the family's official photo taker, often remarks about how infrequently she is actually in the family photos. So, I thougt I would take one particularly good shot and "amplify" it...

Is there anything else you would like to share about the photograph or person in the painting?

Not really, Megan is a wonderful mom, daughter, wife, professional, friend, etc. The photo I think really captures her simple and easy beauty. I think she looks like a movie star.

How did you hear about Marina’s art?

I saw green girl in the window at one of the galleries on Queen East and loved it. I think the proper title of the picture is "Lucky" but we referred to it as green girl as a basis for this portrait.

Are you happy with the way the painting turned out?

Yes, completely. In fact there is a good chance we're going to have another one done. The crowd at the framing shop down the street were duly impressed: and they process a lot of local art...


Thanks Antony for leaving this portrait in my hands. And you are right, Aqua Girl doesn't just look like a movie star, she's a superstar =) 

Happy Birthday Aqua Girl!!

Madeline's Babies.

My friend Madeline at work...loves her babies. Meet, Divo, Carbon, Lady and Margherita. Madeline's babies...She always shows us pictures with a big warm loving smile. One day she asked me if I could paint them, I was soooo excited! She flashed me some photos from her iphone of these little rugrats and I knew they were the love of her life, so it would have to be a special painting. She told me to take my time and I did. One at a time, I painted these four in Acrylic on a deep 16x20 inch canvas.

I gave her the painting yesterday and asked her what she thought...

"Amazing, I love it. It is so cute, even my mom is like....WOW!"


Thanks Madeline!
I love your babies too.... It is true, they are so so cute, and so lucky to have you as their Mama.


Alex and Ben.

Love was in the air when I received a message from my old friend Alex, inquiring about a portrait of her and her boyfriend for their 2 year anniversary. She sent a bunch of photos and they were all gorgeous so it was a tough decision, either way I knew it would be a win. Immediately I saw there was something pretty special about the one she ended up choosing. I loved the hip and relaxed vibe of the location in the background and the fact that underneath it all, I could feel their love was exploding behind their designer shades. I sent off the painting to Alex, and knowing that she would be giving Ben the painting for their upcoming anniversary, I waited anxiously to hear the results. Soon enough, I noticed Alex pasted her shiny new engagement ring on facebook and I felt like it was success. Wow! Did he propose because he loved the painting so much? Just kidding...

It turns out he really did love it in the end. Here is the truth revealed in Alex's questionnaire.

Who is the portrait of?

Myself and Ben Darling

Why did you choose to get this portrait made?

I wanted to buy Ben something personal/custom for our two year anniversary… Both of us are a fan of your paintings, and figured it would be fun to have one of the two of us!

Is there anything else you would like to share about the photograph or person in the painting?

It was a special week for the two of us… I surprised him with a painting earlier in the week, and he surprised me with an engagement ring on our anniversary weekend J

How did you hear about Marina's art?

I’ve known Marina since High School, and a few of my friends have paintings by her… I love to purchase artwork, and to support friends in the industry.

Are you happy with the way the painting turned out?

Yes, we are both very happy with the result, and the painting has been placed on our wall.

I was so flattered to get this opportunity to be a lucky part of painting the magic of their love. Timing is everything. Alex summed it up quite nicely too... "Funny where life takes you and who you meet along the way – just happy we found each other when we did"

Congrats you two love birds.
Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and nothing but love and smiles on your journey along the way.


Adam and his Sisters.

I met Adam, aka Adam C Fresh at yoga training in 2006 and he was a sure deeelight.
Super talented and a fine bendy yoga buddy he became. Adam asked me to paint a portrait of himself with his sisters and when I saw the photo, I was not surprised when I saw how the looks spread across the line of Croce's. Adam had a couple pretty sisters, yup he did. So I painted them up with some watercolors and poof, out came a portrait. It was challenging to capture the essence of their looks from a little photo, especially studying the faces of two gals I'd never seen in real life before... but a detailed sketch and a few strokes later I think I got it, but I'll let Adam decide....

Who is the portrait of? 

I got a portrait of myself with my two beautiful sisters as a Christmas gift for our parents. They loved it!

Why did you choose to get this portrait made?
I've known Marina for many years and am a huge fan of all of her art. She is wonderfully talented and I love supporting her art.

Is there anything else you would like to share about the photograph, person, pet in the painting?

It was a difficult photograph to paint because of how complicated it was, but Marina made it look perfect.

How did you hear about Marina's Portraits?


Are you happy with the way the painting turned out?

 I love how the painting came out.


Thanks again so much Adam!
Feeling pretty special and honored to have painted you and your sisters.
Much love always, Marina.


Today is Karen's birthday, and we tragically lost her to cancer just before her 31st.
I’m at loss for words for the future at this point, because my head is flooded with the past. Growing up with someone locks them in your heart forever. Karen had my heart the first time we met. She had this big smile that lit up the room, not to mention her impeccable style, or her brilliant comical side, that kept me laughing for hours. She was an amazing friend, and to prove that she had the best of friends in return, ones that are left deeply heartbroken.

Karen worked harder than anyone I ever met, always had a plan. She often ignited me with ambition and inspiration. She encouraged me to be my best. Repeatedly along the way Karen directed me into positive light, without ever really knowing. The times I went my own direction, I carried Karen’s strong expectations of who she thought I was with me so that I wouldn’t screw things up. She seldom judged, always talked things through, and forever made me feel like a star. But she was the star I admired; I was always in awe of her grace, such a natural beauty.
Her ability to go after her dreams, and accomplish so many of them in the short time she did, and carry herself with ease.

Although the past few years we have not been together as often as I wanted, I could pick up the phone and call her anytime and it was like we never spent a moment apart.

It hurts knowing that I can’t hear her voice directly, but I hear it my head like it’s filling the room.

Karen will live forever, as a confident beauty with a humble heart and someone that I will look up to with wonder and admiration. I always questioned how someone so tiny was so fierce. I guess that’s what a true warrior is. *(Damn you evil cancer.) 

Karen, your courage is praiseworthy. Your sacrifice will heal a million lives to come.
You are a hero. I love you LI. Rest in Peace.

Thanks for taking an amazing photo Adrian McFarlane -Mollo,
one that I used to inspire my Karen painting.


As my dear friend Meaghen posted today on her facebook page, In Memory of Karen Neely, on what would have been her 31st birthday, you can still give her a gift.

Bc Cancer Foundation for Karen Neely


When I was asked to paint Erin, I was quite impressed with her lovely picture, and even more awed when I got to corresponding with her via email, that she was a total doll. The picture pretty much speaks for itself, My old friend Ben married a Babe. Ben wanted the painting of his wife to admire when she wasn’t home. They make a stunning couple, both so lovely.

Congrats you two.

Since Ben initiated the portrait, I asked him a few questions.

Is there anything else you would like to share about the photograph you chose to get painted?

It’s from a photo album she surprised me with. I always try to take pictures of her but she’s pretty modest. She’s great. It’s no secret I’m lucky to have her.

How did you hear about Marina's portraits?

Marina’s art is pretty well known. Having seen her talent and ability to capture the beauty of others, she was the only artist I considered.

Are you happy with the way the painting turned out?

Very - Thank you Marina!!

Thanks Ben and Erin! Much love to both of you Always <3

Happy Birthday Stefan!

Bre had this special painting made up just for you and wanted to surprise you for your birthday!

This photo is extra special because it was taken during the first month of Bre and Stefan's relationship, and it's Stefan's favorite picture of the duo!  It was taken from a phone, so of course it was tiny resolution...good idea to make it life size.

Breanne wanted to do something extra special for you since you proposed to her on her birthday (amazing) and apparently you totally spoiled her this year - Good job! She thought it would be nice to have a memory of how special this year has been for you two love birds. I haven't met you yet, but I heard about what an amazing guy you are and I am super happy for you and Bre. Congrats on your upcoming wedding, you are a lucky guy to have a babe like Bre by your side! And from the sounds of it she's lucky to have you too =)

Well I must say it's times like these that I love my job! Two very happy good looking people =
an excellent piece of art.

All my love and I wish you two all the best, and the happiest Birthday to you Stefan!