Marianne McGinnis is a NYC based artist who captures the fashionable women of Madison Avenue.

Welcome to Mamamia’s art endeavour, the Voulez-Vous Project.

Every week we celebrate emerging artists, designers, illustrators and creators. Our aim: to help the internet become a slightly more beautiful, captivating, or thought-provoking place by making art accessible. Click here to see all the previous Voulez-Vous posts.

Marianne McGinnis is a New York City based artist, who creates incredibly unique and dreamy paintings of the fashionable women she spots around the city.

Growing up in a big Irish and Italian family, McGinnis was surrounded by creatives. Artists, designers, writers, musicians and cooks filled her childhood, and creativity was prized in her home.

“I always say that my mother Diane could have been the creative director for Vogue if she didn’t have to raise us 6 kids! Instead, she was our very own creative director,” McGinnis says.

“That’s the environment I grew up in, we were very much encouraged to express ourselves visually, musically and at the stove. My mother was a huge influence. She used to draw fashion illustrations of women on paper napkins after dinner and I remember being mesmerised and so proud that I had such a talented mother. She was my my biggest influence. She loved fashion and personal style and I followed her lead,” McGinnis says.


(Image via Instagram/@maryamcan)


McGinnis’s work reflects her New York City life, and the women she sees around the city. She very much considers herself a storyteller, painting the individual women she sees around the city.  She will get inspiration for her subjects when she is travelling on the subway and walking around the city. McGinnis works on NYC’s most fashionable street, Madison Avenue, so she is surrounded by the most stylish women, and can find inspiration for her work effortlessly.


“As soon as I begin a painting, a person begins to emerge and she has a narrative, however vaguely it reveals itself to me. I really think that being a visual artist is like being a singer. You just open your mouth and it comes out, sounding or looking, like you. My work reflects the way I see fashionable women, savvy, intelligent and with something to say,” McGinnis explains.

(Image via Instagram/@maryamcan)

As well as being inspired by the women who wear the clothes, McGinnis also finds inspiration in fashion designers themselves. Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Max Mara, J.Crew, and my favorite, Valentino, (who, she tells me, is going to make her wedding dress someday, when, in her words, “I have the money, and the fiancee’!”)

“I love they way they take the fashions of the season and create a narrative with them, disparate elements telling the story of the moment. I love the process of taking photographs of fashion models in gorgeous clothes and sort of molding them into characters, or rather, letting the characters emerge. If I understand fashion a little, I think that designers take their inspiration from every source imaginable, actual people, environments, countries, a mood or feeling. I would love to help to further express that through my paintings, to work with them in the creative process to tell the story,” McGinnis explains.


After studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, McGinnis was taught to paint on a large scale and in oil paints. It wasn’t until she began working in Macy’s as an Assistant Product Designer that she found, and fell in love, with gouache as a medium.

“I lived in increasingly smaller NYC apartments and had give up using smelly oil paints. I love the flatness of the finish of gouache, the ease of handling and most of all, the very vivid color. Opera pink and smalt blue are everything! I love colour,” McGinnis says.

(Image via Instagram/@maryamcan)

Her beautiful works are gaining her a large following on Instagram,  which her loves as a medium to connect with her artistic community.

“Thanks to the magic of Instagram, I post when the paintings are still wet! I love using Instagram, it gives me instant gratification and pats on the back. Artists have to create in solitude and it can feel lonely but social media is changing that, we can connect to an audience right away,” she explains.

You can find out more about Marianne McGinnis on her website, and Instagram, and check out more of her amazing works in the gallery below.

Do you know an artist (or are YOU an artist) who creates beautiful or thought-provoking work and whom you think should be featured on Mamamia’s Voulez-Vous Project? Send an email to