Marion P. Howard Hoekenga, better known as Happy by her friends, has lived in Nevada over 40 years -- first in Northern Nevada for 14 years and later relocating to Boulder City in 1987. She has been drawing and painting since childhood and has shown her work in Eureka, Elko, Lamoile, Ely, Boulder City and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Marion was born and raised near San Francisco and received a BA degree in History from the University of California Santa Cruz with a minor in Art History in 1969. She married in 1972 and the couple took up cattle ranching just west of Eureka Nevada on Highway 50 (the Loneliest Road in the Nation). When there were no postcards of the old Mining town of Eureka to send home, she drew a series of pen and ink cards depicting the historic buildings. She has also done postcard scenes of Boulder City, NV.
She considers herself a naturalist and loves the wildness of Nevada's vast open lands.
The subjects and inspiration for her work come from her surroundings; from Nevada's
high northern desert ranch lands and the low deserts of Southern Nevada, to main
streets “on the road” and familiar local places. Besides her jobs as wrangler, ranch cook and mother, she worked in a hardware store, became a substitute teacher, and was an
assistant librarian for 18 1/2 years. All the while, she continued painting and drawing.
Marion went back to college in 1999, obtaining a second Bachelor’s Degree from UNLV
in Studio Art with an emphasis in Etching. Combining her interests in History and Art,
she also drew the pen and ink illustrations for Daughters of History, a book of
California Pioneer personal narratives that was published in San Francisco in 2000.
Marion, has held several board positions, and is a past President of the Boulder City Art Guild. She signs her work MPH.