Marilyn Brown’s artistic career was launched in first grade when she sold crayon on paper towel portraits to her classmates for a penny a piece. Art became her favorite subject, and her purpose for study for many years to come.
Her formal training began at Minneapolis College of Art & Design. She continued her studies in South Africa at the Johannesburg Center for the Arts and a three week workshop in Venice, Italy. Upon return to the United States, she studied with Dimitar Krustev in Des Moines, Iowa, The Des Moines Art Center and Atelier LeSueur in Excelsior, Minnesota.
Fifteen years ago Marilyn started illustrating books, including Pony by Tim Wiklund, the 2009 award-winning Christmas book Gifts of the Heart by Karen Oman, and Robert Hasting’s award-winning inspirational book, The Station. Other top sellers are Rick Kupchella’s empowering Girls Can!, the delightful Dress Up Dog and the Dog Show by Robin and Sara Spevasek, and the cover of Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses by Mona Gustafson Affinito.
One of Marilyn’s first exhibits was over thirty years ago at Barclays Bank in Johannesburg. On a local level, Marilyn’s paintings have been featured at Chanhassen Library, Chanhassen Rec Center, Concordia University in St. Paul where her animal art was exhibited in conjunction with a two- piano performance of Saint-Saen’s Carnival of the Animals. Her subjects are versatile and sometimes whimsical. In addition, Marilyn has exhibited with local artists in organizations such as Children’s Book Illustrators Guild of Minnesota, Minnesota Artists Association, and the National League of American Pen Women.
Marilyn’s artistic journey has taken her to three continents. She has ventured into several areas of subject matter, but portraits have always been in her first love. Besides illustrating, she continues her artistry with human and animal portraits. The quality has impressed many repeat customers and, as a result, she often works from referrals.