Jun 5

Liberal Arts Gallery Detroit June 10th – 30th 2011

Category: Art

Liberal Arts Gallery presents the works of artists Marvalisa Coley, Christopher Batten, Dawud Muhammad and Lamar Landers.  Opening Reception Friday June 10, 2011 6pm-10pm located at 3361 Gratiot Ave., Detroit, MI 48207 just north of Mack Ave. For more information call 313-925-9578

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Feb 13

What if?

Category: Words to live by
Green Mountain Falls, CO

Green Mountain Falls, CO

‚ÄúHow would you live if you felt you could trust life fully? If you believed you were totally protected and secure, that forevermore your life would be filled with love and prosperity? Think of how your fears would dissolve, of how totally accepting of yourself and others you would be–it wouldn’t matter if they met your expectations or not. Think of how you would venture forth knowing you would succeed. Think of how your heart would open, of how free you would feel. How free you would be to love? All of this is the treasure that life offers us. We just lack the consciousness to experience it.”
~Susan L. Taylor

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Feb 2

It’s the little things…

Category: Words to live by
Finding Solitude in the Garden

It's the little things that make a BIG difference... "To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life." ~John Burroughs

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Sep 30

Eye Candy

Category: Art

An up close view of the details and razor sharp outlines that create my signature style…

Garden of the Gods photos and Wild Flower paintings





Aug 19

Thank you Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Category: Art

Museum Invite REVISEDcopy

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI

presents “A Serenade of Color, The Paintings of Marvalisa Coley”

Sept. 17, 2009 – Dec. 4, 2009


Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009

6pm -8pm

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

315 East Warren Ave., Detroit, MI 48201


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Aug 6

My work is never done…

The Master Plan 4x3Now it’s paperwork time!¬† There is more to having a solo exhibtion than displaying pretty pictures and there is more to being an artist than the artwork.¬† There is still the business side of things which most artist do not care to become involved in.¬† There are the marketing details, mailing list, postcards/invites, inventory list, graphic designing (if you do your own like I do), labels, pricing, titles for the work, updating your bio and artist resume, and shipping if you are out of state.¬†¬†¬† I have learned from experience that a successful exhibition begins with planning out the details.¬† I compile list and I set goals and everything is about timing.¬† Typically, the gallery handles the details for the artist, however, as exhausting as the details maybe¬† I have come to know that my contribution to my own solo¬† exhibtion can have an effect on it’s success rate. Therefore, I involve myself in ‘minding my own business’ for the sake of the exhibition.¬† Along with carving out the details there is always something waiting in the inbox to be completed and it appears that my work is never done.


Aug 5

COMING SOON 2009 Fall Exhibition… A Serenade of Color

Category: Art

Jul 30

Time to celebrate!!!

The paintings have left the building!  Whew! My work is complete!  On to the next project!

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Jul 29

Still painting…

Still working on the last two paintings…

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Jul 27

The artist’s way…

Here it is!¬† I am down to the wire.¬† I have a painting and a half to complete by morning, plus touch-ups to a few more.¬† The plan is to send out my artwork tomorrow by FedEx to arrive in Detroit by Saturday.¬† However, it will take all of my guardian angels who have ever watched over me in order for this to happen.¬† Unfortunately, this is typically the artist’s way, ‘the last minute!’¬† I think it’s some sort of gluten for punishment.¬† No matter how I plan it always seems to come down to the LAST MINUTE! I just returned from Michael’s Arts and Crafts 10 minutes before closing to purchase black paint of all things.¬† Black paint is the basis of all of my artwork, for God’s sake!¬† Nonetheless, that’s where I am right now and it is what it is, ‘the last minute!’¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† “Oh what a tangled web we weave…”


Jul 25

Go take a hike!

The phrase “go take a hike” has added new meaning to my life these days.¬† Upon my first hiking experience in Sedona, AZ I knew that I was hooked.¬† It is such a euphoric experience reaching your highest destination.¬† On Friday, July 24th I decided to “go take a hike”.¬† The safest thing for me to do hiking alone was to follow a short but high traffic trail, .3 miles (oneway) and the trail head elevation was 7225ft and the highest point was 7400ft.¬† Nonetheless, my greatest desire was to challenge myself and follow a 1 mile trail (oneway) starting at¬† 6785ft and the highest point at 7200ft.¬† So I did it!¬† My fears began to kick in about .25 miles into the trail.¬† The thought of being out here alone began to frighten me but I was determined to keep going.¬† This turned out to be a very good decision.¬† I met young woman, Nicole, an African American female and here two children along the path.¬† We had come to the same resting place with the most magnificent view at the end of the trail.¬† We conversed a bit and she informed me that they were going up a bit further to another high point.¬† She pointed me to toward the direction of their destination and I said, WOW!¬† She said, “It’s an even greater view of the city” and she invited me along.¬† This was an unofficial path and she had come here several times before. ¬† When we arrived the view was frighteningly beautiful and my knees felt weak.¬† It was one of the most amazing sites I had ever seen.¬† We sat there for a short while and the kids consumed their snacks and drinks while their mom photographed them.¬† There was not an ounce of fear in either of them while they moved about.¬† Hiking alone is never recommended and I am well aware of this, however, on July 24th God sent me a guardian angel and two little warriors.¬† I was safe and I believe that I may have also made a friend that day.¬† Thank you, GOD!

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Jul 23

Haste makes waste!

“Haste makes waste” says that when we act too quickly (“haste“) we are more likely to make mistakes and end up with poor results (“waste“). It also says that it is better to do things carefully than to do them quickly and carelessly. The results that we end up with when we do things carelessly are often useless and sometimes costly.¬† With all of that being said I tried to take a shortcut with one of my paintings.¬† For the first time ever I decided that I would paint directly onto raw canvas instead of taking the time to prime the canvas, wait for it to dry and then start my painting.¬† Don’t get me wrong I like the look and texture of working on raw canvas and I would do it again, but it did not give me the results that I wanted.¬† So now what?¬† Well I believe I can achieve the desired look by applying a couple of coats. Wish me luck… Nonetheless, I’m right back where I started.

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Jul 22


SOLD-Funky Wild Flowers 13x25

SOLD-Funky Wild Flowers 13x25

I feel like I am making progress.¬† I completed the 5th painting last night, officially titled “Funky Wild Flowers” and I mailed it to the National Conference of Artists Michigan Chapter today.¬† They are hosting their 18th Annual Art Party; Summer Sail, at the Habor Hill Marina located at 11000 Freud Street in Detroit on Saturday, July 25, 2009.¬† I also shipped out several of my digital prints from the “Love the Shoes you’re in” collection, to the Art Rages Gallery located in Downtown Detroit.¬† They also carry several of my collectible elephants.¬† I’m starting to feel somewhat relieved that this big push to meet my end of month deadline is slowly coming to an end.¬† I have two more paintings to complete before the end of the July.

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Jul 21

JUST Live your Life!

“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”

-Cherokee Proverb

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Jul 19

Keep it movin’

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”
~Erma Bombeck

It is not my favorite thing to do but today I built a 4ft x 5ft frame for a sheet of canvas that I will begin stretching and painting on tomorrow.¬† I have completed 4 out of the 5 paintings that are due at the end of the month, so I decided to¬† add on two more.¬† I would like to add on more but I will have to take it one day at a time.¬† My work is very detailed¬† and sometimes it takes a while to complete a painting.¬† It helps when I work on more than one piece at a time because that prevents me from overworking an individual piece.¬† Right now I’m¬† starting on painting #5.

Gotta’ keep it movin’!!!

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Jul 17

A moment in time…



Yesterday I had the deepest pleasure of sitting on a very large rock, bare foot, by a stream that flowed from a waterfall in the mountains.¬† I watched a hummingbird in it’s natural environment perched on the branch of a tree for about 3 minutes.¬† It has been said that the Hummingbird comes when we need to spend time soaking in the love of nature so we can learn how to integrate joy into our lives.¬† I can admit that this mystical encounter filled my heart with joy and great happiness. According to hummingbirdworld.com authors Larry and Terrie Gates: In many traditional cultures of the western world the hummingbird has powerful religious and spiritual significance.¬† In the high Andes of South America, for example, the hummingbird is taken to be a symbol of resurrection. This is because each hummer becomes lifeless and seems to die on cold nights, but it comes back to life again when the miraculous sunrise brings warmth.

To learn more about Hummingbirds CLICK HERE:

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Jul 16


“When we are honest and frank with each other, we can build strong relationships. We know where we stand. We know how to meet each other’s needs, and how to fulfill each other’s dreams. Without that, we blunder and unintentionally hurt ourselves and others. “
~Kent M. Keith

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Jul 15

Second chances…

“If you get a second chance grab it with both hands, if it changes your life LET IT!”


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Jul 14

My how time flies…

Today I was reminded that it has been almost a year since I left Michigan and¬† headed for the southwestern part of the United States.¬† Looking back it has been a glorious time of growth and development and I met a lot of people along the way.¬† I’m glad that I made the move and decided to experience life in a totally different environment.

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Jul 13

I love to paint!

I love to paint!¬† But, today painting felt like pressure to perform.¬† Sometimes it’s hard for me let go and allow my creativity to flow through me instead of trying to force something to happen.¬† In times like this I try not to start on new projects.¬† I learned this the hard way.¬† But what I tend to do NOW is¬† go back and complete¬† something that I started on previously.¬† So that’s what I did today.¬†¬† I reworked a painting that I was not completely satisfied with and now it is complete to my total satisfaction.

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Jul 11

Bell Rock Mountain in Sedona, AZ

Marvalisa - Sedona, AZ

I came across this photo of me and this magnificent background and I had to post it.¬† This¬† photo was taken in Sedona, AZ on Bell Rock Mountain. I had the pleasure of climbing this mountain in the Spring of 2009 and it was absolutely a phenomenal experience.¬† Sedona is best known for it’s natural beauty, art, hiking and touring, and it’s very popular positive energy vortexes.¬† Sedona has a 4,500 foot elevation and the air you breathe in Sedona truly feels pure and clean.

For more information about Sedona visit www.lovesedona.com

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Jul 9

Free At Last…


“Free At Last”

Today I completed another painting.¬† Now I am left with three paintings to complete before the end of the month.¬† I checked out several audio books from the library to listen to while I paint.¬† I love listening to audio books they are quite entertaining during the creative process.¬† So far I have listened to two books over the past few days; “The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller and “The Brethren” by Beverly Lewis.¬† I am now listening to “Buckingham Palace Gardens” by¬† Anne Perry.

The above abstract painting “Free At Last” illustrates four colorful figures dancing and rejoicing in the discovery of their new found FREEDOM.¬† The freedom of choice.¬† Freedom to live as we desire to live and to love whom we will.¬† Freedom to express, be and become and the “BIGGY” freedom from fear and limitations of every kind.¬† Freedom to be ME…

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Jul 9

Head in the Clouds…


“Cloud 9”

I spent the day inside and I completed 1 out of 5 paintings that are due before the end of the month.¬† I am working to complete a mini-series of paintings that I began in 2006.¬† The series title is called “Cloud 9” I have exhibited pieces from this incomplete series on a number of occasions.¬† The title came from the euphoric feeling I felt; like floating on a cloud, the first time I had an offer to show my work at the Black Fine Art Show in New York.¬† In the first “Cloud 9” painting the image floated in the center of the canvas with a white textured background, like a cloud floating in the sky.¬† This was a complete¬† deviation from my usual style which consisted of the entire image being wrapped around the canvas.¬† This will also be the theme for my September exhibition at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

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Jul 8

Even Monkeys Fall Out of Trees…

I lost two of my three jobs within the last month.¬† I received a final check from one of them on Sunday, July 5, 2009.¬† I received a check that read “FINAL CHECK.”¬† I would say that hit harder than hearing “I gotta let you go!”¬† So on this day I decided to make lemonade out of the lemons I had been given.¬† I ventured out to seek new opportunities as the ladybug advised me to do so.¬† It wasn’t so much about another job search, the thought of that seems too exhausting at the moment.¬† I need a little time to think about my direction, which could take a day or two even a couple of months depending on how things go.¬† But, today I set out looking for opportunities as an artist, my first love.

As the days go by I will continue to update my blog recording my progress

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Jul 7

Advice from a LADYBUG…

lady-bug.jpg A ladybug flew onto my shirt today and I brushed it off before I realized what it was.  Later on I went into a gift shop that had a t-shirt with ladybugs on it and it read:

Advice from a LADYBUG…

Spot new opportunities… Spend time in your garden… Be well rounded… Enjoy the wonders of nature… Don’t let the small things bug you… Keep family close by… Be simply beautiful…

Shortly after leaving the gift shop I spotted a field full of what looked like yellow flowers, (possibly weeds???).¬† I got my camera out to photograph them.¬† As I got closer I realized that there were two lady bugs on the flower/weed.¬† “How cool is that?” If you look closely you can see them in the photo.

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Jul 6

Crossing the State Line

During my 6 day road trip headed to Tempe, AZ, in September of 2008, I crossed several state lines in the mid-western and southwestern part of the United States.¬† I entered into a whole NEW world totally unlike the one I had been living in, and it was a beautiful thing…

A six day journey across the U.S. from Detroit, MI to Tempe, AZ. My vision, my journey, my dream realized… My once in a LIFETIME.

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Jul 6

Something to think about…


Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

What would you attempt to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?




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Jun 30

Regina Brett, 90-years old, WORDS TO LIVE BY…

Category: Words to live by

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio
“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.” ¬†My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.             
6. You don’t have to win every argument Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, and then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone for everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.  
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

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