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The Happy Surprises Collection

Easily see how any art piece will look in your space by clicking our simple to use wall preview and AR(augmented reality) tool buttons after you click on an image!

Wall Preview:  This button allows you to view the image in different sizes, mediums, and room settings, and change wall colors with our easy to use wall color picker.

AR(augmented reality): This button allows you to use your device to view the art live on your own walls, with the ability to change art sizes, and move it around on the wall with your touch screen.  Just allow it to access your camera, stand 10 feet away from the wall you are pointing your camera towards, and have fun!


I am really digging the tribal earthy crunchy feel of this series, mostly because it comes from a renewable resource right from my own garden. Each piece will be its own unique organic shape and evolve into a piece of art inspired by its natural form, color, and texture.

Each fine art print is a result spontaneous creativity inspired by and created from nature. The original artwork comes from a river birch tree in my garden.  I randomly tear off pieces of bark, examine their forms and textures, and let their as is presentation, dictate what they will be.  Each randomly torn piece looks like the shape of an animal to me, without any cutting or manipulation on my part. 

Once a decision is made on what subject the pieces will become, the details are added, using acrylic ink and an ink nib or tiny paint brushes.  

This collection takes the creative process a step further.  Once the original is complete, it is mounted on fine art paper, and then photographed in a special way to capitalize on the beautiful shadows created by the layers of papery tree bark.  The photographs are then digitally manipulated with photo editing software to enhance colors, contrast, and shadows, to make the piece look as if it is the original, textured tree bark creature.

Learn More About The Collection


I had been racking my brain lately to try to put into words why I enjoy this new collection, The Happy Surprises Collection, so much.  In fact, I didn't even have a name for it yet.  

My friend and I were walking and talking about family, and some how, through our conversation, I shared with her that I was a surprise baby, and sometimes, I struggle with the idea that I was not a planned event!  

As I was talking, I had an epiphany!  The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end, and I got goosebumps all over!  AHA!!!!!   That is the reason why I enjoy my tree bark illustrations so much!  

It's because they become who they are as the result of a spontaneous act of ripping a piece of bark off a tree, much like the way I came to be!  I don't go out and say, "hmmm I think I am going to paint a cat today."  and then go rip off a piece of bark to match my idea.  I do the reverse!  I tear off a piece of bark, and the bark tells me what it wants to be.  Each shape has it's own personality and uniqueness, and I simply go with the shape and what it looks like as it is, so each one is A HAPPY SURPRISE, just like me!


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The above preview shows how to use the live preview on this website. The image displayed is just an example, and is not available for sale.

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This Website Supports Augmented Reality to Live Preview Art

This means you can use the camera on your phone or tablet and superimpose any piece of art onto a wall inside of your home or business.

To use this feature, Just look for the "Live Preview AR" button when viewing any piece of art on this website, and stand 10 feet from the wall you are pointing your phone camera to.


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Marie Stephens Art



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