To Top

Meet Mariposa Marangia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mariposa Marangia.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My journey starts in a New Jersey, Sicilian American Neighborhood, full of old-world traditions and customs. The neighborhood, as it was, helped me lay foundations of strength, persistence, and passion into the course of my life.

I was a thinker at a very young age, an explorer of ideas and interests that developed into positive risk taking.  Also, I had a tendency to test the rules beyond convention, and was considered to be “different”.  But, I never really knew what being “different” meant to others. It was the words of Henry David Thoreau in “Walden Pond” that resonated in me– a growing desire to live deliberately, to come to the end of the road with no regrets. These words still motivate me. Through sixth and one-half decades of life, exploration pushes me forward, even in retirement.

From a working-class family, I left the neighborhood with early adulthood dreams and not much else. I headed Westward, for a life of possibilities, including higher educational attainment. Living in the midst of cinder block bookshelves packed with books and record albums, I dedicated my time and effort to earning a Ph.D. in Sociology and a career in academia as a professor. Working with students has been the highlight of my career, helping to light the fire of possibilities and help focus eager minds. There has been nothing better in life than this.

In retirement, I return to an early interest in drawing, and painting. Since childhood, I could be found with a pencil and paper, drawing from my imagination and trying to express some idea visually. At one point I seriously pondered whether I should get a degree in Art, but the concern for making a sustainable living led me to Social Sciences, knowing that I would eventually come back to creating visual expressions.  I signified my change of life by legally taking the name “Mariposa” and also by assuming the last name of my immigrant, maternal grandmother. My maternal grandmother and the strong, willful women she reared planted the roots of my inspiration early on in life. In a significant way these name changes serve as a marker of my transition to full time creating with graphite, ink, and paint. I realized it is difficult to straddle opposite banks of a river while attempting to go forward. I need to jump on one side or the other, and I did. Currently, I am developing in the field of watercolor painting, which I consider to be a dance with water, paper, paint, and brush. The complexity of the medium is challenging and expressive. These are two qualities that work for me. The challenge feeds my interest in structure, form and analysis. The expressive part feeds my spirit, and desire to express what I feel about the things I see. Yes, so far I have no regrets. Internalizing the ideas in Walden Pond still guides my decisions and steps.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Life has always been about how I handle adversity, from mild to severe. Early life was very traumatic for me. Being ‘different”, I was challenged to navigate around negativity, rejection and social isolation. My way of dodging the blows of various sorts was to read philosophy material, write poetry, involve myself in creating art. During some of the scariest times in my life, a diet of heavy academic assignments from undergraduate to graduate studies kept me focused on academics, career and personal development. I had wonderful mentors in my graduate education. These professors recognized my talents and capabilities and made sure I had enough challenge to keep me busy and inspired. I really can’t thank them enough for what they did to help me keep focus on my gifts. I was treated like family. The confidence that grew from my educational and career accomplishments exceeded what I expected to happen in my life. The risks that I chose were good ones and they paid off.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I have an art business: Mariposa Marangia Fine Art. My website provides a sample of the watercolor paintings I create. My uniqueness is that paint from my imagination. I am not as much interested in the object I am painting, as to how I feel about the image. The play of light captivates my attention and I can get lost in how light and shadow expresses a time of day or a particular mood. I love to express mood with value structure and color. I am learning that the tools of the artist are merely tools. What the mind strives to communicate can influence how the tools are used. So, for me being an artist means using the tools of art-making to express something in the realm of emotion and feeling.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was always the one who questioned: why?; how did that happen?; what am I? In the time and environment in which I was reared, these qualities were considered to be unusual, and certainly not appropriate for my gender.

I often moved against the tide, wondering where all of these social norms were coming from– as they did not make sense to me. Being introspective and independent-minded, I had no problem entertaining myself: developing informal choreography, make-believe play with friends and thinking about life. I loved creating. My father once took a second job at a paper company. He would bring home scraps for me to draw on. I might have been seven years old. With colored pencils in hand, I would fly through the stack of index size paper with a drawings of women’s fashion; poses and clothing that I would pull from my imagination. These were my early roots of my thoughts and actions.


  • Pricing of paintings are listed on website.
  • Paintings are unframed, in order to keep the price accessible
  • Cost of shipping and handling and tax –added to the price of the painting separately

Contact Info:

  • Address: Mariposa Marangia Fine Art
    7073 Cody Drive
    Arvada, Colorado
  • Website:
  • Phone: 303 477-7719
  • Email:

Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in