A Statement from Marilee

Finally a website! 

Marilee HeyerSome of you may be familiar with my past work through my illustrated books and the Tamora Pierce book covers, which were all a joy to work on.  As you see, my career has been long and varied.  For the major part of this time I have worked in a detailed style using watercolors and colored pencil.  I first used this technique on some creature paintings as portfolio pieces to take to Lucas Film to apply for work on “Return of the Jedi” (I did get work, too), many of which became the illustrations for my picture book, The Forbidden Door

Illustrations from this book and my first book, Weaving of a Dream, shown on this site, will be in a traveling exhibition, Fairy Tale Art Illustrations from Children’s Books, in 2008-2011.  Other artists in the show will be Kinuko Y. Craft, Barry Moser, Demi and many more.  For cities and dates, see www.smithkramer.com

Most of the other work shown on this site are new personal paintings, not done for commercial projects.  They still reflect my interest in history, antiques, pattern and texture and combining of themes Eastern and Western.  Also, the love of animals and nature is always present as is life and death. 

The Golden Game reflects my interest in alchemy, which began with the illustrations for Iron Hans and the love of things Eastern began with Weaving of a Dream and are now shown in The Song and The Temple of Harold SilverThe Actor, Portrait of Russell Crowe, is for the love of movies, and To an Unknown Shore was done in appreciation for the wonderful hours spent reading Patrick O’Brian’s Captain Aubrey and Maturin novels.  Lastly, and perhaps most important, the images from my dreams have contributed their say to many of the subject choices, most recently, The Midnight Marching Band.

When I’m not painting, reading or going to movies, I sell antiques in my space at Rich Man, Poor Man Antique Mall in Cayucos, California.

Come enjoy the beach, shop, and most of all, paint because you love it.


Curriculum Vitae


2008 “Designed to be Different” group show: Art Center Gallery, San Luis Obispo, CA

2008 American Women’s Artist juried Exhibition at LeKAE Gallery.  Award Winner.  Scottsdale, AZ

2007 Taos National Society of Watercolorists Eleventh Annual Exhibition juried National Show at Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, NM

2007 Aquarius 2007 juried Regional Watercolor Show Art Center Gallery, San Luis Obispo, CA

2005 Los Angeles Society of Illustrators juried show “Illustrators West”.  Billy Shire Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2004 “Works on Paper” juried show. San Luis Obispo Art Center Gallery, “Best of Show”. San Luis Obispo, CA

2000 Manhattan Arts International juried show – “Herstory” Showcase winner. Winners shown in Manhattan Arts magazine, March-April 2000

1998 Long Beach Art Association juried show – “Works on Paper” Long Beach, CA

1994 Featured Artist in Illustration Show, Sun Gallery, Hayward, CA

1990 One Woman Show Picture Book Illustrations San Francisco Academy of Art Gallery

1989 Group Show “Every Picture Tells a Story”, Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1988 One Woman Show of Picture Book Illustrations, San Francisco Academy of Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA


1978-Present:  Freelance illustrator



1970-1978:  Fashion illustrator for department store newsprint advertising for:


1965-1970: Scene Designer for cartoon TV shows for Format and Filmation Productions.

Shows worked on:


B.A. Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles.  Graduated in 1965 with Honors.

Further study at San Francisco Institute of Art.

All content & works of art are © Marilee Heyer unless noted differently. All rights reserved.