MARC SHENFIELD - "CAPE MAY IN DETAIL" - OIL PAINTINGS EXHIBITION APRIL 4 - MAY 3, 2009
MARC SHENFIELD - Artist’s Statement I have often been accused of filling my paintings with excessive amounts of detail. That comment suits me fine because I consider “detail” a critical component of my approach to painting. Three of the artists I have drawn the most inspiration from; Frederick Church, Childe Hassam and Andrew Wyeth, have made detail their hallmark.
To me a detail can be some aspect of a particular place that contributes to its uniqueness- its essential character. It goes beyond what you first think of when a place comes to mind. Maybe that’s why I seek out the unusual, the overlooked, the obscure.
In Cape May a detail might be a row of plantation shutters on the windows of an old stable, the strange juxtaposition of shingles and siding on the façade of a double house. Or a miniature birdhouse painted to match the house it’s in front of.
Details can also be writ large, like the sweeping curve of the shore between two jetties, or a squadron of cumulus clouds invading a blue sky; a hundred year old street tree lunging over the sidewalk. They’re things you might look at but not really see. Only after I study and scrutinize my environment to distill the essence of things, can I begin to portray them. Only then can I see and depict something in a truthful way, and hopefully share that discovery with others.
MARC SHENFIELD - BIOGRAPHY
Marc Shenfield grew up in New Haven, Connecticut where he completed his first oil painting at the age of eight. While still a teenager, he received rigorous training in the fundamentals of realism from Birney Lettick, a nationally known portrait painter and illustrator, and also attended New Haven’s Paier School of Art.
He received a Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute and became a commercial art director while developing his own style of realism in oils, primarily landscapes depicting the Hudson River and its environs. From 1997 to 2003, he studied painting, drawing and anatomy at the Art Student’s League and the National Academy of Design in New York.
Marc’s style focuses on traditional realism emphasizing light, atmosphere and the unique qualities of his subjects. He seeks out the unusual, the little noticed, and often even the startling aspects of the objects and places he portrays.
In 1984 he first visited Cape May, New Jersey and has returned every year. Since acquiring a home there in 2005, he has made Cape May the primary subject of his work.
Since 1992, his work has been exhibited in eleven solo and group exhibitions. Marc’s paintings are included in numerous private collections in the U.S. and abroad, as well as in the collection of the New York State Museum in Albany. Marc maintains studios in Cape May and in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.
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