Mariann was born in Ancon, Panama in 1932. Her father was an officer in the U.S. Navy. She and her mother followed him around his ports of call, including the mainland U.S., Panama, and Honolulu. She spent her first years living in all these places because her father was a hurricane specialist, always in tropical places.
In the 1950s as an undergraduate at Ohio State, she studied with professor Hoyt Sherman who couldn’t tolerate oil paint, so she learned to make her own paints using PVA, the start of Acrylic Paints, though she spent the next 45 years working with oil paints.
She obtained a Master of Fine Arts Graduate Degree from Cornell University. She taught at Cornell, the University of Cincinnati, University of Tulsa, University of Alaska (Fairbanks) and more recently at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Traveling was always in her blood and she exhibited her paintings, collages, and drawings nationally and internationally. After her graduation, she went to live in Greenwich Village in the 1960s where she exhibited her first one person show at Washington Square Gallery. It was in an old warehouse building. In years to come the whole of Soho trended to such galleries but Washington Square gallery was the first.
She spent two years living in Holland before moving to Tortola in 1967 in the British Virgin Islands, where she was able to paint full time. Being a tropical girl, she loved her time there. She traveled extensively during the next 12 years while she lived in Tortola. She traveled to England, Austria, France, Morocco, and her love, Italy, seeing Pompeii relatively early in its restoration. During her time in Tortola, she exhibited her work in New York City at Tibur De Nagy Gallery and then the Robert Steffanoti Gallery. She showed in exhibitions with her contemporaries including Malcolm Morley, Howard Kanowitz, Guy Johnson and Lowell Nesbitt.
After her marriage ended in 1978, she returned to Ithaca, NY to live. She sold out a show in Puerto Rico and was able to buy a loft on Rivington St. in New York City. She worked full-time during her period in the loft, being very successful and being self-sustaining. In 1982, she had a twenty-year retrospective at the Johnson Museum at Cornell University.
In 1987, she met an English sailor while she was painting a mural for the Dupont Family at their estate in Tortola. This commission carried on for twenty-three years and enabled her to get out of Ithaca for 6 weeks every winter. Bill Carnie sailed to the states, and after greeting her at JFK airport, they lived together in her loft for 4 years. They married, then her love of Ithaca returned and they both came to live in downtown Ithaca, where she created a studio in her lovely Victorian house.
In 1993, she had another retrospective of her work at the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York City. Her work until this time was referred to as Photo Realist, but she slowly changed to surrealism. At this point in time, she also did several large murals in Tortola and Seattle, among others. Her largest was a 60 ft long mural for the Tompkins County Museum, installed outside. She used acrylics for the mural and from then on, she painted with acrylics in the studio as well. She had a large show of her work in Tortola in 2008.
During the past 30 years, she continued to paint and simultaneously designed the renovation of their house and formal gardens, which was a delight to her every day.
It would be impossible to talk of Mariann without mentioning her love of Afghan hounds. She got her first in 1969 and was never without one until her passing. She leaves China, her present dog in mourning. She is survived by her sister, Victoria, whom she loved dearly. Mariann and her husband, Bill Carnie, had a wonderful relationship until her passing, leaving her husband grieving this amazing, loving, larger than life female vision of beauty.
A celebration of life in honor of Mariann will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 17, 2023, at 442 North Aurora Street, Ithaca, NY 14850.