“I realized that with emotion that I can paint any subject I want in any style I want”
Duke Marsh is a talented rising painter located in Southern California. He recently started his artistic career and shares his wonderful paintings on his Instagram account. His biggest influences have been “the delicate touch of Michelangelo, the shadows of Rembrandt, the softness of Monet and the vivid life of Van Gogh.”
Marsh’s art education is based on visits to distinctive museums such as the Getty Museum. He explained that after looking at art history he then tries to recreate the paintings from his personal perspective to build what his mind sees. Color blindness didn’t stop this artist from daring to experiment with color, emotions and realistic representations.
In this Q&A painter Duke Marsh shares with PoseSpace how he started his artistic career, why artists like Van Gogh and Rembrandt have had a great influence in his work and how he will pursue his professional career:
Can you tell us about your background and how you got into art?
I always wanted to be able to paint or draw but I think the logical side of my brain got in the way. Then, about three years ago I learned a different way to think about pictures. That is when I finally started making worthwhile paintings. I’ve now done 96 paintings in the last 3 years.
Since I really didn’t have any art training, I had a lot to learn (I had one watercolor class 40 years ago.) While I have a doctorate, my jobs have been in everything except for art. My goal was to first teach myself to be able to paint realistically. I figured when I have enough control of the brush to paint the sailboat in a Plein Air scene and have it look realistic, then when I go to do something that’s more impressionistic or fantasy it will be what I actually set out to paint.
Is art a hobby for you or do you make a living from it?
Right now I do this as a hobby. However, I’m a goal-oriented person and I plan on doing this professionally. I’m in my sixties now so I have more and more time to paint. And the world has no limits, so I started putting my paintings on Instagram. Now that I have an inventory and my own styles I am just looking for the right gallery to form a long-term relationship.
How did you discover www.posespace.com?
The Art Model books led me to the posespace site. The girl holding her legs is the first nude I tried to paint. It was inspired by one of the poses. I had real troubles with the skin tones since I’m color blind.
Van Gogh seems to be a great influence in your work. Can you tell us about your connection with this artist?
Once I started getting fairly realistic, I realized that I needed some motion or emotion to make the pictures more interesting. Also, I liked the dramatic use of black by Rembrandt. However, I still thought my paintings were lacking quite a bit. Too much black loses the vibrant emotions. That’s when I started combining vivid Van Gogh colors with the black shadows of Rembrandt while still trying to get some emotion or movement into it. I realize that with emotion that I can paint any subject I want in any style I want.
Also, when I read that van Gogh was alive during the Golden Age of the Cowboys is when I started doing my “What if Van Gogh met” series of cowboy paintings.
Do you ever think about what your legacy will be?
I haven’t thought of what my legacy would be until you ask that question. I hope to be remembered as the painter who brought paintings to life.
Duke Marsh’s Instagram: @duke_marsh_artist
Interview by Andrea Miliani