New Tin Shop artist Mariella Bisson admires local nature |

New Tin Shop artist Mariella Bisson admires local nature

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

BRECKENRIDGE ” Mariella Bisson, current artist-in-residence at the Tin Shop, loves the stark, dramatic feel of Breckenridge’s mountain peaks.

While here for the month of December, she will labor to capture the energy and power of Breck, no small feat considering that the mountain range is rather distant and the shapes are distinct.

According to Bisson, it’s much different from getting close to her subjects, say in a forest or by a stream.

Landscape being her main interest, Bisson goes out into nature to create on-site drawings and paintings.

She then brings her work back to her studio and there either puts the final touches on her study or creates larger pieces.

“I’m the one with the frozen toes,” said Bisson. “I hike. I climb. I wade. I swim. I do what I need to do to get to my subjects.”

When she arrived in Palenville, N.Y., to draw in 1988, she wrestled with the problem of rendering waterfalls in black and white.

She came up with the idea of creating her studies in collaged fragments and has been developing the practice ever since.

Bisson’s collages are made with hundreds of paper pieces, watercolor, clay-based gouache paint, and other drawing materials such as pencil and charcoal.

Though she’ll work in a smaller scale while staying in Breckenridge, she’ll create some large Rocky Mountain pictures back in her Woodstock, N.Y., studio.

An artist from the beginning, Bisson started to draw as soon as she could hold a pen in her hand.

She grew up in East Burke, Vt., a small ski town, where her father was an artist too.

Artistic talent and admiration for the natural landscape run deep in her blood.

“Every piece I make takes a lifetime,” said Bisson. She said that she puts her whole life experience into each of her works.

Bisson earned her BFA in drawing from Pratt Institute in 1978. During the 1980s and 1990s, she was an active participant in Brooklyn and Manhattan alternative art spaces.

She directed the Visual Arts Program in Prospect Park from 1983 to 1993 and was the curator of One Main Sculpture Space in Brooklyn for 10 years.

In 1990, Bisson was awarded the Pollock-Krasner Fellowship for excellence in her chosen form of art.

On Sunday from 1-3 p.m., Bisson will hold a free workshop, Watercolor Landscapes.

She’ll review watercolor painting skills, such as how to hold edges and control the brushes.

Students will create paintings of twilight Breckenridge ski trails from photographs.

Interested participants can call (970) 547-3116 to sign up for her workshop.

All registrations must be made one day in advance.

The workshop will be held at the Tin Shop, located at 117 East Washington Ave.

While here, Bisson will work with both her collage technique and watercolors.

So far, she has studied the natural scenery from Boreas Pass Road and the Breckenridge Nordic Center.

Bisson will have open studio hours from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday through Dec. 30. For further information about her work, visit

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