Marc Barrett

Artist Statement

I’m drawn to old man-made structures; it moves me. My subject matter includes: weathered fish camps, stained concrete and steel drawbridges, college rowers, quirky diners, Orlando skyscrapers, local homes, and business marquees.

One of my favorite places is the “Midway Fish Camp”, located at the St. John’s River and Highway 50. I’ve created 10 paintings of this subject matter over the last 15 years. Several business places that I’ve painted were found where I grew up in Orlando. “Beefy King”, “Merita Bread”, “Ronnie’s”, “Olde Dixie Fried Chicken”, and “Ice Cold Air”. There are multiple memories of family outings to these business establishments that have formed a connection between the subject and my desire to create paintings. Years later, these structures now seem barely standing or altogether gone.

My process is simple; I start out taking photos. My camera is my sketchbook. While I’m shuffling through photos, certain images attract my attention. My goal is to decide what view will best portray the subject in all its “glory”, hoping that something will jump out and say, “Paint me”. I think about the “Edges”, the edge of the canvas too, but more importantly places on the canvas where different shapes touch. My paintings are about concentration, making decisions about composition, value and color.

After deciding that regular eyeballing didn’t look right. I fell into the trap of projecting the image onto the canvas. I’m interested in the ordinary, not the exotic. I’m not interested in style, effect, making a statement, or telling a story. I’m more interested in just looking, observing.

I started out trying to be a non-objective painter, and although I enjoyed the energy and scale, I lost the connection to that kind of painting, I couldn’t find meaning anymore. I was constantly trying to explain what I was doing. Over time I’ve loosen-up, becoming more painterly. My paintings are about “Just Looking” and the language of painting.

About the Artist

Marc Barrett holds a BFA from the John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana and an MFA from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He is an Adjunct Professor of Fine Art at Valencia College and has regularly participated in the Winter Park Autumn Art Festival.  In 2017 his work was featured in the exhibition Solaris, a group exhibition of Studio Art Professors at Valencia College.

Past Solo Exhibitions at Arts on Douglas