Ms Caya earned her BFA in Illustration at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster, PA, mentored under award-winning fantasy illustrator Gary Lippincott, and worked with traditional painting master Ken Laager.  Her drawings started at the age of three, and through a childhood at home in the fields and woodlands of Western NY, inspired by Irish legends and Native mythos, she developed a creative vocabulary, influenced by visionary Brazilian artist Susan Seddon Boulet and prolific English illustrator Alan Lee, that still defines her work today.


Well met - I'm Mairin-Taj.

My whole life I've been asked, 'what does that mean?, where did that name come from?' And I always explain my succinct version of the story.


Irish wisdom reminds us that we are always more willing to accept Truth when it is accompanied by Story, and this, I feel, is the pathos of the visual arts; to reintroduce truth to us through creative conviction.

I believe well-rounded experience in life creates a well-rounded artist. I've been the dancer, the wilderness guide, the student, the model muse, the tutor, the designer, the landscaper, the nomad... All this and more. It always comes back to the art - the story within, waiting to be recalled to us anew.

And I believe beauty, as the poet John O'Donohue put it, is 'not a luxury, [but it] ennobles the heart and reminds us of the infinity that is within us.' To marry beauty with narrative and conduct that responsibly not only brings pleasure, but powerful therapy: communication, healing, inspiration, invention, resolution. And the world can use more of these things.

My art today utilizes the lessons I've learned on my previous paths in life, distilled through a woman's perspective on a world fiercely fighting issues over Earth's nature, woman's nature, human nature, the life/death/life cycle nature. I see all of this rising from the depths of our archetypal saga, passionately coming to light, and hopefully, transformation.

I work as a freelance artist, art model, and a wilderness advocate and educator, inspired by the wild places of the world. Nature brings us back to ourselves, always. Art is how we synthesize that relationship.

- mc