Marc Whitney

About Marc Whitney

“Favorite artists change as you mature.  Right now I look at a lot of Degas, Manet, Courbet and early nineteenth century artist.  Artists who worked before palettes became more 'colorful' with the popularity of the impressionist. If you copy the impressionist with the exclusion of Degas your drawing becomes very weak as the impressionist relied on color to carry the painting and neglected color and composition. The classic Impressionist painting was painted outdoors or so they claimed, and this precluded the opportunity to make sophisticated compositions or careful drawings.  That’s why I more attracted to artists who worked more in the studio. I like El Greco a lot and Goya and many 18th century artists like Chardin and Watteau.  These artists went beyond making picturesque works and made stuff that conveyed a wide range of moods and ideas. However an artist's works are also heavily influenced by art that in youthful exuberance, he or she admired for reasons that he now realizes are not very important. In my case, I first painted for about ten years exclusively in watercolor and was just crazy about John Sargent. His style can be seen in my flowing brushstrokes, odd compositions etc.  Now I don’t look at those paintings anymore but the damage is done. When I started Painting in oils I found that you could do so many more things than just ala prima sketches and then I started looking at these other artists for examples of other ways to paint and moods poetry ideas etc, something you won’t really find in Sargent, or Sorrolla or Zorns who are all pretty the same: flashy painting without much content otherwise.

In the past, I have experimented with many techniques as I am an avid reader of books on art and artist techniques old and new. I have painted with glazes etc. in the past, but now I keep it very simple and try to paint in a direct technique on a colored ground something I got from Degas who was an experimenter also, and painted usually on a red or pink or tan underpainting.    My medium and colors are also very simple; I use a little turp and linseed oil and an earth palette supplemented with cadmium reds and yellows.

A native of southern California, Marc Byron Whitney was born in 1955.  He initiated his art studies at the Laguna Beach School of Fine Art, California (now the Laguna College of Art & Design, 1970-1983) and then went on to attend the Frudakis Academy of Fine Arts (1983-1987), the University of the Arts (1990) and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA, 1987-1991), all in Philadelphia.

The paintings of Marc Whitney capture the private, visual experience that define our daily lives and validate moments that matter; a morning cup of coffee, the rumpled sheets across a bed, a simple vase of flowers on a table.  Marc considers his paintings poetic.

Whitney began his formal art education at age 14, when he received a summer scholarship to what is now the Laguna College of Art & Design, in Laguna Beach, California.  Inspired by both the integrity and emotion inherent in realism, he went on to invest a decade in intensive classical training at the prestigious Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Since his return to southern California, both collectors and artists have acknowledged him as one of the region’s most talented painters of the Classical Realist Tradition.  His paintings hang in numerous permanent and private collections worldwide.