"The life so short, the crafts so long to learn."
~Geoffrey Chaucer

Handpainted Functional Art by Marilyn Grad

Marilyn Grad's functional art brings to mind Helen Keller's quote "When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don't see the one that has opened for us." After one of the companies she worked for went bankrupt, Marilyn started painting to "fill the void." She didn't sit around feeling sorry for herself, she created a new door. Her functional art is a part-time business, which she hopes will become full-time. "Eight years ago, I returned to the restaurant industry as a host to afford me with the luxury of flexibility and food! I am so excited as I just accepted a host position at new restaurant opening in the new The Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. How perfect!!"

Marilyn is a self-taught artist who works out of her apartment in Chicago, but plans on moving to Portland, Oregon sometime in the future. She is 53 years young, and one of her favorite magnets (which she collects) says, "Oh crap, I meant to get married and have some kids!" "So my kids are my hand painted creations and my marriage right now is to my business. And I am growing to love it more and more!"

"I love to work with wood for its durability and texture. Some of the boxes I now use are custom made for me from an artisan in Kentucky, which gives me more latitude for custom sizes, especially for my tea, jewelry and take-out menu boxes. I also use recycled and found objects. I am going to work on more wall art and jewelry." Her other passions include painting, yoga, ayurveda, sailing, cultural venues, collecting quotes, and blogging of all things. Visit her website to see more of her functional art HERE. And, her blog HERE.

Images used with permission from Marilyn Grad.

5 comment(s):

Manon Doyle said...

I love Marilyn's work! We met online earlier this year during an ArtBiz class! She's a terrific lady and she makes beautiful pieces!

WHY? said...

That tea box is a great idea! Beautiful and functional, yes.

of Marilyn Grad said...


You have introduced and exposed me to such wonderful artists through your magnificent blog(s)that to be included in this company is an honor. And very exciting! I am most appreciative and grateful.

I know I had expressed this to you once before but it deserves repeating. Thank you Nancy!!!


Every Photo Tells A Story said...

Marilyn, it was my pleasure!:) said...

This art work is so nice, I love it and your content is lovely. I dont recall how I found you but I now follow you!! perhaps you will want to follow me...
I host giveaways for my followers just because I can. Things that I create.