Featured Artist Grace Marquez | Artsy Shark

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Grace Marquez paints underwater scenes based on her scuba diving adventures. View more of Grace Marquez’s portfolio on her Website.


“Descending” acrylic on paper mounted on canvas, 11″ x 14″


I was born on a tiny island dubbed the “heart” of the Philippines. I still consider myself a sort of island girl, even though I grew-up in Ontario, Canada, on the Great Lakes. I’ve always painted or drawn since I was very young and pursued that in my education with a Bachelor of Fine arts. I always dreamed of becoming an artist.


painting of an underwater wreck

“Afterlife: Swept Away” acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 24″


But life changed and I forgot that dream. It wasn’t until much later after building a career in design for marketing, advertising, and tech that I woke up and realized that if I didn’t take my shot at it, I would regret it for the rest of my life. So, I left my successful career of 20+ years to pursue my art because I just couldn’t ignore that nagging voice anymore.


painting of an underwater shipwreck

“Reclamation: Fujikawa Maru”
acrylic on cradled wood panel, 30″ x 40″


So here I am now, painting my other love—the water world. As an avid scuba diver, it wasn’t until I started painting the underwater world that my art started to take on more meaning for me.


underwater landscape painting

“The Playground” acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 48″


I paint underwater scenes to share my childlike wonder and sense of discovery that I experience with each scuba diving. It’s not about capturing realism or accuracy but the impressions of light, movement and colour. I’m in awe of this parallel world beneath the water that most people have never really experienced. I want to share the beauty that exists in our world.


painting of a shipwreck underwater

“Promenade on the Nippo Maru” acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 18″


I’ve learned much about the water world because I get curious about what it is I’m looking at. Why is this shape? What gives it that colour? What does it eat? Where does it grow and how? When did this happen? I’ve learned more about world history, geology, ecology, biology, engineering, evolution and more, by just getting curious about the world underwater.


scuba diver

Artist Grace Marquez scuba diving


Underwater is the only place I feel fully present in my body, mind, and spirit. I’m not distracted by anything happening in the world above the waterline. Instead, I’m fascinated by the metamorphosis and reclamation that happens underwater with water shaping, moving and growing life.


Painting of an underwater tunnel

“The Ice Tunnel” acrylic on canvas,: 14″ x 11″


It’s an ongoing cycle of life and death underwater that continues with or without our presence. Our presence may slow things down, but Mother Nature always wins. I love the adventures that can be found under water.


painting of coral underwater

“Burning Bush” acrylic on paper mounted on cradled wood, 24″ x 18″


The process of painting what happens underwater is for me a way to stay connected. I love it when non-divers have questions about it, because it’s in that curiosity that we as a species connect to our world and grow. If my art can help people see how special our world really is, and walk away feeling more connected and alive, then that’s a win!


Grace Marquez invites everyone to follow on. InstagramThe following are some examples of how to get started: Facebook.



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