Emerging Artists | Marina Dieul

Of mice and men

Marina Dieul, Acrobaties, oil, 12 x12.

Marina Dieul, Acrobaties, oil, 12 x12.

This story was featured in the March 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art March 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

There aren’t many artists who can say they have been inspired by a rat infestation. But Canadian painter Marina Dieul readily admits that the origin of her series of imaginative mouse paintings springs from these invading household pests. Dieul’s popular portraits depict the rodents peering out from mats on a frame. The mice are shown in various poses. Some appear to chew on the mat. Others wear accessories such as a string of pearls or a gold crown. In one humorous painting a mouse balances precariously on a string stretched above a curious or hungry feline. Observers have called the pieces charming, playful, and lyrical, and one enthusiastic viewer declared them true “mousterpieces.”

Dieul painted her first mouse portrait in 2011, and to date she has sold more than 200 of them. “They sell faster than I can paint them,” she says. The “mousterpiece” series led Dieul to create additional miniatures depicting piglets, bunnies, and baby chickens—often inspired by children’s books. Dieul says she enjoys painting the miniatures so much that she has a hard time choosing
among hundreds of ideas for what she will paint next. When asked what she is trying to convey in her work, she replies, “Humor and poetry are always present in my works. I enjoy telling stories.”

The Montreal painter was born in France and studied art there at L’École des Beaux-Arts and Studio Escalier. In addition to her animal series, Dieul is known for her award-winning portraits that feature the human species. She is a member of the International Guild of Realism and the Portrait Society of Canada, as well as the Portrait Society of America, which recently presented her with an Award of Exceptional Merit in its annual international competition. She has also won first place in the drawing category in an Art Renewal Center Salon competition and Best of Show in the Inspiring Figures exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, OH.
—Bonnie Gangelhoff

SR Brennen Galleries, Palm Desert, CA, and Santa Fe, NM; Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ, and Jackson, WY; Robert Paul Gallery, Stowe, VT; Marine Arts Gallery, Salem, MA; Cube Contemporary Art Projects, Bowden, Australia; Perez and Ortiz Fine Art Gallery, Santiago, Chile.

Featured in the March 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art March 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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