Marilyn Wells Artist's Statements

Marilyn Wells is an American Artist creating inspirational works from Heart and Soul, bridging earth, body, and the mystical. This includes Sumi e (Paper, Oils and Sculptures), based on poetry and prose, and paintings portraying the Sacred Earth and Divine Feminine.

"I long for color and I thirst for line. " - Marilyn Wells

Art was Magic from her earliest memories. Growing up in rural Nebraska during and after WWII, she saw worlds beyond hers through line drawings in children’s story books. Against the drab rooms and towns where she lived, she saw she could create new worlds with her brush and ink bottle. Here was the form she craved; here were her own stories.

She was most recently featured in Urban Mud Member Show, Dec 2021, 5280 Magazine Dec 2020/Jan 2121, "Lights Out" End Page, Solo Art Show, “Inviting the Mystic” at Metropolitan Frame and has taught meditative Sumi e brushwork at Walker Fine Art in Denver, Colorado, & Foothills Art Center in Golden, Colorado.


Finding your heart and soul in sumi -e brushwork, I help artists and artistic souls get out of their heads or their linear way of thinking, and into their hearts. From there, new ways of being can emerge.

To stop or interrupt your usual way of being can open you up to who you really are—because you are so much more than what you already know.

I find this very liberating. It’s really the ultimate freedom.

And for a little more detail on the above:

I thirst for Line. I adapt my love for minimalism, meditation and Zen Christianity into abstract Sumi e paintings, stark blacks and grays on white mulberry paper, since 2011. My artworks bear Zen koan inspiration by beginning with a quotation ranging from Rumi to Shakespeare and jazz.

This way of painting is the Way of the Tao. This is the only way of being that lasts, that is eternal. I find this way of being in my sumi e abstract painting, which is meditation. They are one in two different forms.

In the silence, I allow the Ch’i to flow through me and through my brush. Heart, soul, and brush - one flow. New energy, life energy, is born. A shift takes place.

I experience joy, peace, satisfaction that lasts long after the work is accomplished. It is a healing process, a sense of being whole.

I carry that with me. I find it affects, shapes and alters my life. Things are there that were not there before. Time is sometimes altered. I have never been let down. I am carried in this altered way of being and I grow into it increasingly.

This work comes from a contemplative depth of meditation, both Zen Buddhist and Contemplative Christian, and from studying Zen artists, poets and Western abstract artists from Kokoschka through Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell and all the abstract artists in between. 

To alter my train of conscious thinking, I begin with an unfamiliar line of poetry, a haiku, a koan, or a piece of music I can bodily experience. An emotion within my body is evoked on a deeper level than the rational and verbal intellect.

I am listening to a voice within me, not my head voice. After some warm up practice and reacquaintance with brushstrokes and the paint quality, I am quiet in front of a piece of rice paper. Then, out of this deeper space, I respond with my brush and my ink. The image is painted—almost, it seems, of its own accord—as if the brush has a voice of its own.

I have often watched others as they sit with my unfamiliar and foreign work and writing. I watch their face come back renewed as though from a foreign land.

There is a pure joy in heartful being that cannot be said. There is a pure joy in soulful oneness that cannot be said. Healing comes from that contemplative depth. It feels magical.

The magic is real and is communicated in vibrating energies within myself, within the viewer, that move out into the world, making it a better, more loving and fulfilling place to be.

Our world is so cerebral. We thirst for a deeper experience. My paintings invite the viewer into that experience. This is also the way of the feminine, a way or knowing in more wholeness, my way of Finding My Heart and Soul in Sumi e Painting.


I long for Color. With color and line, I illustrate the feminine in narrative, archetypal, and magical landscapes in which I live, have lived, and want to live. 

My figurative painting process is layering in oil from a dark ground to light. This reveals the essence I strive to reveal - inner divinity against a patterned, decorative world, or at other times, the inner light shining within persons against the outer darkness of chaos.

Most recently, my work with the Goddess figures in both painting and sculpture has been inspired by Neolithic figures. Nothing is more pure than the ancient Neolithic figures unearthed, housed now in museums, unsigned by forgotten artists. I find a heart connection with each artist whose work I am drawn to. I feel like we are touching hands across the centuries.

Life may not be a straight timeline. I am more inclined to believe God’s world is a circle, as the ancient Celts believed, according to John O’Donohue. I am closing the circle of time by coming back and joining hands with creators from these ancient, prehistoric times.

***** All works on this site are are copyrighted by the artist and the artist alone.