Featured resident artist instructor for March: Marsha Lyons

Marianne Graff

Marsha Lyons is a long time PebbleCreeker who is both an active Art Club member and a successful artist and teacher. Giving rein to her creative interests, Marsha took a drawing class from Bill Cupit soon after moving to her Arizona home. There she studied drawing, colored pencil, and scratchboard, and, though working full time, took great interest and pleasure in attending classes and completing various projects.

It wasn’t long before Marsha was asked to participate in an Art Club membership drive by teaching a scratchboard class. Her inspiration for such a daunting project was the gratitude and respect she felt towards her mentor. She now offers this class each year in his memory.

Later, when she was working only part-time, Marsha was able to devote more energy and hours to her art. She soon began to study colored pencil under Sherri Van Schaick and pursued this medium for a number of years. She also found Open Studio a great resource and still enjoys this unique opportunity to learn from other artists. But it wasn’t long before Marsha returned to teaching. Initially, she teamed with Desiree Mansell to teach a beginners’ class in the foundations of colored pencil and discovered that helping student artists realize the joy and possibilities of this medium captivated her. Marsha now offers similar classes each year and a good number of PebbleCreek artists trace their proficiency and love of colored pencil directly to her.

Marsha describes the advantages of working with colored pencil as follows: it is easily transportable; easy to start and stop at any convenient time; and involves little clean-up of tools and supplies. However, she stresses that colored pencil renditions require patience and multiple layers of color and shading to achieve the desired result.

Several years ago, Marsha ventured into a new medium when she began taking classes in pastel taught by Don Rantz, an award-winning instructor who returns each year to PebbleCreek to teach a three-day pastel workshop. Marsha continues to explore this medium and notes that a painting can be completed more quickly than one in colored pencil, and that she can see more immediately the results of her creative efforts. Although she considers herself a beginner, Marsha was highlighted in a summer exhibit of Art Club Pastelists in 2017.

In her journey through various mediums, Marsha has won special awards. She was chosen to be Artist of the Month and later was also awarded Artist of the Year. We are very grateful for Marsha’s inspiration and appreciate all that she has done for the Art Club—for her service as Chair of the Artist of the Month Committee, as club Treasurer for several years and as a member of the Art Walk Committee among other activities.

You are invited to see her work on display at the Creative Arts Center and in the Eagle’s Nest and Tuscany clubhouses during March.