Marja-Liisa Oksanen was born in Lahti, Finland. She moved to Canada in 1972, where she became interested in art and started taking art classes for adults. After moving to the United States, she studied at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art for three years. During her studies, she was introduced to different types of media, including sculpture, lithograph, and intaglio, wood cut, and painting, with a focus on the human figure.

Marja-Liisa’s passion is oil painting and pastels. Her favourite subjects are humans and animals, particularly portraits. She draws her inspiration from the old masters, and she enjoys reproducing their work. Travel also inspires her, with a large body other work stemming from her travels to Kenya, Ireland, and Europe. Her work has been accepted for shows at the Academy and juried shows in the North-eastern United States.

She has a studio in West Vancouver, where she paints for pleasure and by commission.