Skip to main content

Style Magazine

Jim Marxen

Feb 28, 2009 04:00PM ● By Super Admin

Some artists require an elaborate studio with large windows for natural light. They require quietness and a space where they can create without being bothered or distracted. They have no sympathy for the common folk and demand to be treated as royalty.

Not so with Folsom artist Jim Marxen. His studio is one-half of a parking space in his home’s three – car garage. He, his talent, easel and paints share the tiny space with a bicycle and the lawn mower.

He started painting 35 years ago in junior high school with watercolors and later graduated to acrylics. But, he gave up painting for a while due to his busy family life and heavy work schedule, but after moving to Folsom from Southern California 20 years ago, he picked up the brush and canvas again. “I paint after work and on weekends,” Marxen explains. “It’s my second full-time job.”

His colorful urban landscapes and figures nearly jump off of the canvas with rich vibrant hues. “My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Korts, loved my drawings,” he says. “She inspired me to use lots of color in my work.” This use of color is reflected in all of Marxen’s work. One of his favorite subjects is the coast, specifically Monterey, Santa Cruz and Mendocino. “There is a painting everywhere,” Marxen says. “The coast has wonderful colors and angles.”

His wife Leslie, a teacher at Folsom Hills Elementary, sacrifices her Sunday afternoons and most evenings so that he can paint. “I grade papers,” she says, “or watch my favorite TV shows.” Their five-year-old dog Sadie, the couple’s adorable little black Schnoodle, hangs out and keeps Marxen company while he paints.

Marxen has been showing his work at various galleries around the area, and with a show this month at Sacramento’s Blue Moon Gallery – he needs lots of pieces. “I paint as much as possible,” he admits. “I push myself to keep my skills sharp.” He loves creating colorful canvases and works hard so that each one meets his high standards. He is his own toughest critic and knows what works for him and makes him happy. He also understands that painting is solitary and sometimes hard work. “Creating a painting is not a community thing,” Marxen states. “When it comes down to it, it’s you and the canvas...a battle to see who will win.”

One of Marxen’s biggest fans is local attorney Jennifer Shaw. She has purchased a number of his paintings and follows his career closely. “His work is very innovative,” Shaw says. “I just love his use of color.” One of her favorites is Going Home, a painting depicting a section of the freeways in Los Angeles. It hangs prominently in her living room. Shaw is always delighted when her guests are immediately drawn to the painting. “It takes talent,” she explains, “someone with genuine inspiration, to make a freeway look interesting!”•

For more information on Marxen’s work, check out or visit the Blue Moon Gallery at 2353 Albatross Way, Sacramento.