artists register

Cynthia Barlow Marrs SGFA

Reed Bed

Reed Bed

Selected for DRAW 11, the 90th Annual Open Exhibition of the Society of Graphic Fine Art at the Menier Gallery, London in 2011.

Printmakers' ink and cut paper on paper
19cm x 23.5cm



I have a lifelong interest in memory and thought, and the way we interpret our experiences over time.


I draw on memories of landscapes around the world to create sense impressions of space and light. My invented landscapes feature the repeated use of stylised forms such as leaves, trees and blades of grass, the one sometimes morphing into the other. 


In my sketchbooks, on the other hand, I attempt to capture unposed moments in everyday life. Drawing from observation helps to develop my working memory and my understanding of the world we live in. And as I draw I develop a richer appreciation for the stories we tell ourselves about our lives.


Whether working from observation or imagination, I am fascinated by relative scale and the way the smallest shift in perspective can determine whether something looks tiny or tremendous. 


These ideas have been important themes in my solo exhibitions. In 2007 I created a five metre-long installation "Undercurrents - Ten Views through a River of Words" for my exhbition at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames. "Undercurrents" is about creative self expression, and what a story feels like when you can't find the words to tell it. 


In 2012 I developed "The Portable Forest", an installation over two walls at Ripley Arts Centre in Bromley, Kent. I imagined quiet reflection as a habitat in which certain species of thought thrive. And I imagined memories as if they were deer appearing in the forest in moments of stillness. These images derive from my time spent in Windsor Great Park, and from my experience living in Germany: I was once deep in a forest where the only sound was a cuckoo calling in the distance, and the only visible creature was the occasional surprised deer. The magic of that memory has stayed with me, and I retreat to that world from time to time.


My solo exhibition in 2020 was 'Pale Grey Castle", which marked the beginning of my new drawing series Papered Over, in which I explore ideas about transformation, and the Pale Grey Castle series in which I reinvent familiar scenes in my home town of Windsor.





Cynthia Barlow Marrs SGFA


Cynthia is a British-American artist and illustrator in Windsor with an international background in environmental planning. Her career focus has shifted from master plans of thousands of hectares, to the intimate scale of everyday life around her. ‘Windsor on My Wall’ is her new series of watercolours and drawings inspired by the people and places in her home town. 


Cynthia has a BFA degree in painting and further degrees in environmental planning and design. Her art can be seen in group exhibitions in London, and in solo and group exhibitions in and around the Thames Valley. Cynthia’s art is in private collections in Britain and abroad. She is happy to discuss commissions for work large or small. Her work can be seen in her studio by prior arrangement.


In print and online

Two illustrations in 'Make It an Inky October' by James Hobbs in November 2019 issue of The Artist magazine.


Featured artist on 24 May 2019 in the Illustrated City series in the Guardian online with her illustrated article ’Pomp, circumstance and celebrity: People watching in Windsor'.


Author/illustrator of the pen and ink chapter in Artist's Drawing Techniques published by DK (Dorling Kindersley, 2017).


Four double-pages in Pen and Ink - Contemporary Artists, Timeless Techniques (pub. Frances Lincoln, 2016) by James Hobbs, freelance editor, author and artist based in London.


Feature article 'Drawing at the Speed of Life' in Drawing magazine's special summer issue 'All about Sketchbooks' (pub. F+W New York, 2016).


Cover art for Landscape Architecture Theory - An Ecological Approach by Michael D Murphy (pub. Island Press, 2016).


Cover art for Notes Relating to an Idea of Blue, a poetry collection by David HW Grubb (pub. Shearsman, 2011).



Highly Commended Work in Colour, and Highly Commended Work on the Exhibition Theme in DRAW 13, the 92nd Annual Open Exhibition of the Society of Graphic Fine Art - The Drawing Society. 


Group exhibition venues in London

Mall Galleries (July 2021), Bankside Gallery, Menier Gallery, Barbican Library, Tower 42 lobby, R K Burt Gallery, Southwark Cathedral Refectory Gallery.


Group exhibition venues outside London

Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Gallery; Grierson Galleries, The Old Fire Station, Henley-on-Thames; Oxfordshire Artweeks; Harvey Gallery, Guildford.


Solo exhibition venues

The Old Court Artspace, Windsor (autumn 2020); Windsor Fringe and Festival Artist’s Open House (annually); The River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames; The West Wing, Slough; Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley, Kent.