She studied painting at the Chicago Art Institute under John Vanderpoel and William M. Chase in New York. She taught for several years at the Chicago Art Institute and was a popular portrait artist in Milwaukee.
In 1903 she received a commission from the Santa Fe Railroad to paint scenes from a trip to San Francisco. There she studied with William Keith and then from Elmer Wachtel when she moved to southern California.
In 1904 Elmer and Marion were married in Chicago and settled in Arroyo Seco. She and Elmer were constant painting companions through out southern California as well as the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.
Although Marion painted in both oil and watercolor she stuck with watercolors while Elmer was alive, who worked in oils. After his death in 1929 she used both mediums.
Marion exhibited in California and New York and she was a member of
the California Water Color Society, the Academy of Western Painters and the Pasadena Society of Painters. More about Marion and other women painters of the American West can be found in: