Marcella Maltais was born in Chicoutimi in 1933. Since her childhood, she has distinguished herself as a gifted child, both in drawing and in school. She entered the Quebec School of Fine Arts from 1949 until 1954 where two renowned artists, Jean-Paul Lemieux and Jean Dallaire, taught her. His first participation in an exhibition took place in 1955 at Palais Montcalm. From 1956 to 1957 she exhibited at many places, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The ex-automatistes and the plasticiens artists greet his work. Her style is assertive and personalized, her reputation is well established in Quebec, but she decides to leave Quebec for Paris in 1958. She regularly alternates odd jobs and painting, devoting herself to the latter when her finances allow her. She lived through periods of extreme poverty.
The year 1964 corresponds to a period of questioning. She will not touch her brushes for a year, only to devote herself to drawing. In 1968, a journey in Greece shocks her: she radically changes style, abandoning the abstract for the figurative. This choice will have difficult consequences for his fame, as the regulars of his painting and his collectors will turn away from this new style. She does, however, manage the course it has set for herself and continues in this direction.
During her life, Marcella Maltais travels a lot and divides her time between three residences: her workshop in Beauce, a workshop on the island of Hydra, in Greece and her home in Paris. She has participated in a large number of exhibitions on both sides of the Atlantic.