Added Dec 20, 2009
MARION FERNHOUT, born in the Netherlands, began drawing and painting aquarelles when she was a child. During the 1950’s, she began taking private lessons from the Dutch master painter, Henk Koekkkoek. In 1957, Marion travelled to Mexico and married Italian lyric tenor Michelangelo Verso. She began accompanying her husband on his tours throughout the Americas.
Having previously studied music and dancing, she learned to sing in different languages. Marion accompanied herself on the guitar and ukulele. Under the guidance of her husband, she perfected her musical talents, and within a brief time, began singing in several theatres and clubs of the era. She, and her husband, also sang on radio and television programs, to enthusiast audiences throughout South America.
In 1961, Marion and Michelangelo returned to Europe. They settled in Italy, where she continued her artistic activities as a soubrette singing, dancing and acting in various theatrical productions touring throughout Italy. Marion was featured in shows and revues produced by well-known artistic companies of the period, including Nino Lembo, Lino Crispo, O’Brien, Gennarino Vollarò, Raffles, Lola Gracy, Bonetti, Los Brutos etc.
Marion returned to her homeland of Holland towards the end of the 1960’s. During the following five years, she continued sharing her love of singing and entertainment with the public. Gradually, Marion, now a mother, began a new career utilizing her multilingual skills by becoming a freelance interpreter of the Dutch, Italian and Spanish languages for the court of Amsterdam, translating for attorneys and judges.
During that same period, Marion resumed the passion for drawing and painting that she had temporarily set aside, but never forgotten, years before. She commenced formal study and in 1978 she earned her diploma from the School of Drawing and Painting (“Ecole de Dessin et Peinture”) of Paris.
Marion produced many paintings and gouaches with great passion. In 1977 she joined the prestigious Association “The Sunday Painters” of Amsterdam to have the opportunity to study and paint a variety of models, still life compositions and landscapes. Marion acquired additional skills and experience. She met and painted with famous Dutch master painters including Maarten Krabbé, Toon de Haas and Jan Frenken. Marion participated in the art association for more than 28 years. In 2002 she received the distinction of honorary member.
Marion drew and painted in the impressionist style: flowers, landscapes, still life compositions, and models in aquarelle, gouache, pastel, oil or with mixed techniques. Her favourite painters were Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gaugin. During her later years, she often painted fantasy scenes.
Marion described her art and talents as follows:
"My paintings don’t have a particular message. I paint because I simply like the object or, in the case of my fantasy paintings, because during that moment I feel an inspiration. When I paint, I feel I am in a world all of my own and can express myself. Everything in nature or in the cosmos intrigues me.
First, I was a performing artist; I sang, danced, acted etc. Now I try to develop myself in figurative arts and in poetry. Over the years I have created extremely different paintings. My ideal is to translate what I see in an impressionistic manner. I see the beauty in the simplest things; nature itself inspires me!”
Marion was never interested in organizing exhibitions of her paintings. She painted out of pure love and passion. She preferred to dedicate her time to the creation of her art, rather than to publicize or commercialize, her talent.
However, with encouragement from her admirers, various exhibitions of her paintings were held in several large cultural and commercial buildings, libraries and hotels, in Amsterdam, Amstelveen and Beverwijk, between 1984 and 2003.
Marion's paintings have also been exhibited in the Provincial House of Haarlem, in the “Stahlecker” gallery in Den Haag (The Hague) and in the “Het Vorstenburch” gallery in Zaandam.
In 2007 her son, Michelangelo Verso Jr., organized an extensive exhibition titled “Mamma, il Sole Mio” (Mamma, my own Sun) in honor and memory of his beloved mother. The exhibition included 63 of Marion’s paintings, which were displayed in the large “De Oosterkerk” church in Amsterdam. Visitors to the exhibition expressed great admiration and praise for Marion’s talents.