Home Originals Botanicals Paniolos Woodblock Prints  
About Marcia Ray

When asked about constants, Marcia Ray will say that art has been hers. Inspired by the powerful imagery of Salvador Dali and the Surrealists, she first put brush to canvas at the tender age of fifteen, and she has never stopped painting.

Marcia came to the Hawaiian Islands in 1973, bringing her unique artistic vision to a place that would become one of her most powerful muses, the Big Island and her oceans.

Among her inspirations, Ray counts her extensive travels to Japan, Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean, the mythical and real history of the South Pacific, the flora and fauna of the Islands, Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) history, antique children’s book illustrations, and multi-cultural mythology. With such a wide variety of interests and inspirations, it is no wonder that her paintings often convey a feeling of universality, both aesthetically and spiritually.

Marcia is known primarily for her oil paintings and watercolors, but she has painted it all, literally! From floors to ceilings, and everything in-between Marcia’s exuberance for beauty has resulted in a prolific career with a wide variety of projects and works.

She recently completed a large floor painting for one of the Big Island’s many wonderful estates, depicting an ancient underwater temple with a host of vibrant oceanic creatures. Her colorful, large-scale wood block prints can be seen at the Hilton Resort in Waikoloa, and the USS Independence boasts a collection of ten 6FT murals of Hawaiian botanicals, located in their grand dining room. Even in the midst of her busy painting schedule, she is in the process of publishing her own children’s book, an underwater fantasy with a message of female courage.

A master oil painter and watercolorist, Marcia’s paintings and murals, rendered in her signature colorful palette and fantastical imagery, grace some of Hawaii’s most elegant estates and resorts, as well as a number of well-known public spaces. Her singular style even attracted the Walt Disney Corporation in 1999, which commissioned 12 hand-painted pieces for the Animal Kingdom attraction at Disney World. She has also designed logos for both local and international companies, and once she traveled to Italy to design a collection of high-end ceramics for a luxury goods company based out of Florida.

At the world famous Mauna Lani Resort, a ceiling mural depicts the story of Kauila the turtle goddess, bringing fresh water to the Hawaiian Islands. In another piece, Honua, the sea god Kanaloa transforms into an octopus and uses his long tentacles to decipher the maps of the world hidden in the shell of the Honu (sea turtle), guiding Polynesian sailors through the waters of the Pacific Ocean. These ancient seafarers discovered the Hawaiian archipelago in 600 A.D., using stars and the phases of the moon to navigate. Marcia’s 8 ft painting of HONUA was first exhibited at the Polynesian Resort at Disney in Orlando.

Between 2001 and 2003 Marcia Ray undertook the largest project of her career, a group of 32 murals commissioned by Parker Ranch, depicting historic scenes of Kamuela town, and the Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) that helped shape it. A monumental project, the Paniolo murals consist of 28 paintings measuring 32 x 72 inches, and four massive murals of 6 x 24 feet. Marcia researched these works by collecting stories, photographs and memorabilia from the cowboys, their families, friends and descendants. Researching and painting these pieces has awakened a deeper interest in Marcia to use her art to preserve and share a culture that is fading into history.

Always evolving, Marcia is now working on new, large-scale wood block pieces, and watercolors of some of the Big Islands vanishing, ephemeral landscapes.

Marcia Ray lives and paints in Kamuela on the Big Island of Hawaii.

  My painter friend Beverly Fettig & I, toasting to life in Bezalu, Spain, 2012  
Contact Marcia Ray Art
P.O. Box 1139, Kamuela, HI 96743
(808) 430-1120
© marcia ray art 2013