home | available works | collected works | artist's statement | contact

Artist's Statement

Stylistically, my art is of two kinds. One kind (or genre)
is a Romantic, Realism. The other kind (or style) is a
Seriocomic, Surrealism.

Nature and landscape are the heart and soul of my work. I
feel a kinship with Asian Art -- particularly Chinese Painting
of the Sung Dynasty. I am moved by the concept of Dao Chi;
the Way and the Spirit that permeates all things in nature.
For a brief period of time I studied brush painting with Ming
Chou a Chinese Literati artist. I see many similarities between
Ma Yuan of the Sung Dynasty and Frederick Church of the
American Luminist Movement. These qualities of Romantic,
Realism may be seen in my painting Nocturnal Adoration.

The Seriocomic style of my paintings may be seen in my paint-
ing Caveat Emptor (a Latin term used by Real
Estate agents meaning “let the buyer beware”). Humor seems
to be a rare occurrence in the visual arts. I am amused by
the numerous examples of “Kitsch” in our society. It is
better to be entertained by the banal artifacts of our time
(pink plastic flamingoes are a major icon of Southern Culture)
than to be angry with the misuse of the magnificent plastic
technology of the 20th Century. I think of this aspect of my
work as “brush in cheek” painting. Caricaturists need to cartoon
themselves before satirizing others. The main character in my
painting Caveat Emptor is my way of laughing at myself.
Along with heart and soul I also need to have a belly laugh.

Another “artistic thing” that I do is penmanship, lettering, and
Calligraphy. Again, for a brief period of time I studied with
Raymond F. DaBoll, who in his time was the Dean of American
Calligraphy. I incorporate Calligraphy into my paintings by writ-
ing the titles on the surface of the paintings. So the viewer may
have a mental image from the words that enhance the picture. Rene
Magritte, the Belgian Surrealist, used word play with painted images
to give pointed meanings and misdirections to his viewers.

My paintings are, I hope, pleasant to see, easily understood,
and may encourage a sly smile.


Copyright © Don H. Marr.