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Meet Kelly Marshall of Kelly Marshall Fine Art

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Marshall.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
“I just decided, when someone says you can’t do something. DO MORE OF IT.” Faith Ringgold ~ I am both an artist and art educator. It all started as a child. Cans of spray paint lifted from my parents’ garage. “Abstract Art” in the form of leaves, sticks, and whatever junk I could find spray painted into a sticky mess. The creativity was always there. My nickname was “busy” because I was always in everything. Doing. Making. In 1996, I started my bachelor’s degree in fine art. It was at this time that I developed a love for process-based art. Printmaking and artist books became my focus. In school, I supported myself as a teaching assistant in the print lab and discovered my other passion, education.

Toward the end of school, I had the opportunity to travel to Japan with several classmates and professors. During this experience, I further developed my passion for the world of prints as well as the delicate balance between control and chaos. In 2011, after a successful career as a special education teacher (a role that forced constant mental creativity), I merged my two loves. It was through both my experiences as an artist as well as an educator of children with special needs that I honed my urgent commitment to thinking about and making art with people who move and think differently.

Together with my business partner, Kristin Cockrell OTR/L, I opened Color Construct Create Studios. Our mission, to provide art experiences for children of all abilities. We married the worlds of art, craft, and movement into a perfect blend of engaging art experiences for children. During this time, I also awakened the desire within myself to find my creative voice. Color, Construct, Create Studios had very humble beginnings in the garage of my home. Over the past 7 years, we have grown to a fully functioning art studio. We developed our program to bring a fresh perspective to the world of children’s art instruction.  We offer them a vast array of skills, art historical context, and art experiences. Kristin and I collaborate on lessons that maximize artistic technique while attending to the bodily and motor skills that allow students to develop their cognitive and physical abilities in ways that traditional curricula leave out. We also create our own work that shares our perspectives and experiences.

Not only has this provided me with the gift of sparking creativity in children, but it has also informed my own practice.  I have relinquished the product-based model in order to provide a more holistic approach to my instruction and art-making.  My students generate unique and beautiful work that doesn’t always conform to traditional aesthetics but always displays their joy and creativity. My fine art follows this model as well.

The work I produce is about color, mood, process, and risk. I harken back to my desire for control while experimenting with the process. In my studio today, you will find ink painting, acrylics, watercolor, and block printing. My fine art pushes my ideas and allows me to look for beauty through the experience. Through color and line, I play with relationships in nature. I am currently working on commission as well as through my online store.

Has it been a smooth road?
If the road were smooth, that wouldn’t be very interesting! My artistic journey has been more of a meandering path as opposed to a straight highway. As a teacher and young mother, my creative side went dormant for a few years. It was always there, I just had different priorities during that period. I believe the natural breaks life provided me were an opportunity to reflect and grow my intellect and creativity. I found new inspiration as well as clarity on my aesthetic. When I started my little art studio, I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into. I have been amazed at the inspiration and whimsy that sharing art with children, my own included, has provided.

When I started getting serious about my own body of work, I felt awake! Watching an ink “bloom” or cells form in a pour is just plain fun. My goals at present are to continue to do what makes me happy while also creating a cohesive body of work.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Kelly Marshall Fine Art and Color Construct Create Studios are where my two passions collide. My fine artwork contemplates the world around me, the beauty and delicacy of light, and harmony of colors. My commissioned work reflects current trends for interior artwork, often playing on negative space and organic shapes. At Color, Construct, Create, we are developing strong relationships with our students and their families. In turn, we have fostered a lifelong love of fine art, design, and craft. Being an active participant in a child’s creative journey is the greatest gift an artist and teacher can receive. In my quest for joy in my work, I have achieved balance, peace, and satisfaction.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
San Diego is tricky. Artists can find so many sources of inspiration in our beautiful city. Finding an affordable space to create, however, is not as simple. I have been very fortunate to have my own dedicated space but even without, I would still find a way to create. I have found that parents and families in our community are committed to fostering their kids’ creativity through fine art and support of the greater art community. While affordable space is an obstacle, this supportive environment makes taking the venture worthwhile. The opportunities for artists in San Diego are abundant. It is such a great place to create.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 10264 Winecreek Court San Diego, CA 92127
  • Website:
  • Phone: (619)829-7160
  • Email:

Image credit: 

Katherine Eve Photography

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