Marla Rice-Evans has been painting for more than 30 years. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and Omaha, Nebraska, Marla was deeply influenced by her mother’s great love of art. Her mother, Eloise, made sure that her four children attended art museums in all their growing years and were exposed to her painting, teaching of art, classes she attended, and her generosity in giving of herself through art to people of all walks of life.
This influence and life’s trajectory led Marla to start drawing, which she enjoyed for a couple of years. She followed by picking up a brush at the age of 25, when she painted her first, very flat, painting of daffodils. Although they were not well done, she was fascinated with the power she found in placing color on a white surface. From there she continued pursuing that joy and power over the next thirty years. She attended college at the University of Nebraska Omaha, Wayne State College, Universite de Dijon (now Bourgogne), and the University CA Berkeley. Marriage and motherhood became a part of her life, as well as working full-time in arts administration in Chapel Hill, Omaha, and Charlottesville. Marla also began working in development of children with AIDS in Boston/Roxbury. From there she worked in the field of development in institutions of higher education in Monmouth and Macomb, Illinois (where she earned a Masters Degree) and currently works at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Twenty-five years after she began painting, she became very interested in the face of humans and animals since it is through the eyes and face that amazing stories are told of the condition of being a living creature. Watercolor is her preferred medium based on the fact that all living creatures are largely made of water – as well as the sky and all of nature. This medium seems to make the most sense to her in expressing life.
Her husband, John, and daughter, Jesse, have been supreme supporters of her pursuit of art, which helps make it possible – as well as her sister, Kerry, and wonderful friends and family.