Artist scholar: Off the clock with Marisol D’Andrea

Relax by Marisol D'Andrea

Marisol D’Andrea, Research Ethics Coordinator,
Office of Research Ethics


Marisol has been with the University of Toronto (U of T) since 2005.


“I completed my undergraduate and MEd in higher education and international studies at U of T. Currently, I am pursuing a flex-time PhD in educational administration at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), U of T. My research interest focuses on the career path of visual artists.”

What do you do off the clock?

I paint using acrylics, and I research and blog about the arts. My mission is to place the arts and culture as a top priority in the city and to help artists better their career paths.

How did you first become interested in painting?

During my childhood in Lima, Peru, I was always fascinated by colours and expressed myself through them. During my high-school years, the visual arts were one of my strongest subjects. In addition, my mother was a pastry chef, so I became accustomed to aesthetically pleasing visual imageries and the coordination of colours. As a result, I developed into a baker before becoming a painter. However, the cakes did not allowed me to express my lived experiences, so I transferred my artistic calling onto a canvas. In 1996, I began painting with oils and then, a year later, switched to acrylics. I tend to paint subjects that somehow reflect on my life or just make me happy.

Plantain Bananas Again by Marisol D'AndreaOnce you’ve completed a painting, what do you do with it?

I sell it, give it away to family members, or hang it at home, interchanging them once in a while. The rest get put away in my studio in plastic bags. Once in a while, I open these bags and contemplate them, reflecting on my lived experience of the time I painted them. Each piece is historically unique and has an untold story.

What (or who) inspires or influences your work?

My inspiration draws on many facets of my life experiences. The artists who have influenced my work are Colombian artist Fernando Botero, Canadian artist Paul Peel, and from the impressionist era, Berthe Morisot and Vincent Van Gogh. Our local artists inspire me greatly as well. I always try to attend local artistic events and shows in the quest for inspiration and to provide support; as such, I write reviews of them and post them in my blog. That’s my calling off the clock!

View Marisol’s fine art website or follow her posts on Twitter.

Submitted by Paul Fraumeni, director, Research Communications and editor of Edge magazine, Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation.