Marni Spencer-Devlin is a self-taught artist whose first medium, from childhood on, was portraiture. In 2001, she developed a style of portraiture she called, Portraits In Stone, which were extremely realistic – the eyes would follow the viewer - larger-than-life portraits drawn on gypsum shaped to look like stone.
A triptych of these portraits fetched $23,000 at auction. Other portraits are in the private collections of Carl St. Clair, Conductor of Orange County’s Pacific Symphony; Jenna Clifford, Jenna Clifford Jewelry, Johannesburg, South Africa; Author Deepak Chopra; the Oprah Winfrey School For Girls, South Africa as well as Ellen DeGeneres who displayed her portrait on her show.
Marni began feeling restricted by the exacting medium and in 2008, she branched out into abstract expression, developing a technique, she calls painting with plaster. Initial pieces were smaller acrylics with plaster on canvas.
In 2009, she created Rust, acrylic, textured plaster and silk on 40 x 40” canvas. This piece evolved into the Uquobo Series. Uquobo is the Zulu word for essence. The pieces are not otherwise named to allowing the viewer free reign to discover its personal meaning. These very powerful 48” x 48” pieces took on a life of their own, allowing color and texture free reign in combination with a wide variety of natural as well as manmade materials such as found objects, burlap, silks, egg shells, chicken wire or other metals.