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Marvin Mann

Oil paintings, ink drawings

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Hoosier born and raised in a Marine Corps family, we moved often in my younger years, settling in southern California in the mid 60s. At ten I found a stack of old boy's adventure books from the 1930s and 40s which lit my interest in reading. Then comic books confirmed it and fired my desire to draw stories.


So I drew. I drew a lot. Artists pretty much all start with their love of drawing, it is fundamental.


And the pencil led me in middle school to charcoal, to pastel and to oil. And then I gave it all up to draw comics; pencil, ink and later Photoshop. I drew periodical comics, web comics, graphic novels. I once drew a comic using 3D modeling software. I took a break from drawing comics to design and build wooden furniture. Then I returned to comics and I still haven't abandoned them.


But there in the back of my head lived an old memory of oil paint, from the days when I had no idea about how to use it. I promised myself that when I got older, I would pick it up again. And sure enough, I got older. So I kept my promise to myself. Figure drawing is central to comics, and realist figure painting became a prime interest. My drawing is often energetic and loose, while realist figure painting in the old tradition of the atelier, required a slower, more observant approach. I studied with a master. As with comics, narrative remained a concern.


When the pandemic closed the life modeling studios down, I turned to landscape, and in the space of 18 months I traveled quickly through Impressionism to Tonalism to increasing levels of expressive abstraction, looking for a balance of formal concerns with representation that pleased me, carried a bit of narrative, and in this I discovered a return to looser, energetic mark making.


I haven't stopped making comics. But I am also a painter

Marvin Mann
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