Those who are not conversant in works of art are often surprised at the high value set by connoisseurs on drawings which appear careless, and in every respect unfinished; but they are truly valuable... they give the idea of a whole.
- Sir Joshua Reynolds
We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.
- Anais Nin


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tiona Marco

Posted by Charley Parker at 4:02 pm

Tiona Marco
Minnesota artist Tiona Marco does landscapes, cityscapes, portraits, still life, wildlife and botanical drawings, all in her medium of choice, Crayola Crayons.

That’s right, good ol’ big yellow box of ‘em, wax in paper wrappers, wears down to a nub in your hands, drew with ‘em when you were five, Crayola Crayons. She doesn’t add other mediums, melt the wax or otherwise manipulate them, she has simply become very adept at handling wax crayons as a medium.

It was an email from Tiona, letting me know about her work, that prompted my post yesterday about Crayola Crayons as an art medium.

Marco earned a degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and was teaching art to elementary school children in Mexico, where she had few resources for her own artistic endeavors, but access to plenty of crayons. She began to experiment with the potential of crayons to create art and on returning to the U.S. had a fortuitous encounter with Don Marco, an artist who had already mastered the use of Crayola Crayons as a medium.

Don Marco took on Tiona as an apprentice and Tiona, on establishing herself as an artist, took on her mentor’s last name as her own professional name.

Tiona Marco’s web site has galleries of her work in several categories, along with a brief bio. Most of the works have links indicating if the original is available for purchase, and often offering prints as well.

Many of the pieces are accompanied by comments. The image above, left, for example, is both part of a series of drawings of women in hats, and a nod to her fondness for the work of Vermeer.

Marco also has a blog, in which she discusses how she got into wax crayons as a medium, and offers several videos in which she explains some of her techniques, as well as giving advice on how to care for an original done in wax crayons.

4 comments for Tiona Marco »

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  1. Comment by Mary Bowen
    Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

    Where can I learn how to use crayolas. Is there a book of instructions or video’s demonstrating this technique?

  2. Comment by Katherine Mac Donell
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 @ 12:47 am

    I have recently been to Duluth and visited your shop and bought your coloring book. I would like to learn more techniques. My coloring needs help. do you have instructions/tutorials? My sisters and I love to color together. I would like to be able to view your art. Is there a website that shows your art? I can’t seem to find it. thanks,

  3. Comment by Rae Michaelson
    Sunday, January 19, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

    I saw you on TV Sunday Morning, Jan 19, and would like to know how to see and maybe purchase your art. Please let me know the address of your gallery. I live by Grand Rapids, MN, an hour and a half from Duluth, so I do get there once in a while. My phone is 651-494-4787. Thank you

  4. Comment by terry martin
    Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 9:32 am

    Hello, I like your Crayola work, especially the Vermeer nod. Do you use the grid system or projector for the initial stages of your portraits. I noticed that your actual finished pictures were larger than the reference photos. For example, your black and white drawings done from photographs.

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