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Art & Life with Marc Whitney

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marc Whitney.

Marc, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I guess my story starts at Laguna Beach. Growing up I was an artsy kid. When I was 14 I received a scholarship to LCAD. This was the 1960’s hippie times in Laguna. I soon became acquainted with some of the old school Laguna artists and in particular, Hall of fame Disney artist, Roger Armstrong who taught me watercolor technique. In order to learn new skills, in the 1980’s, I transplanted to Philadelphia to study with sculptor Evangelos Frudakis, probably the last great American sculptor working in the Beaux-arts tradition. At the time he ran a small studio/school on Chestnut Street, across the street from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Eventually, I drifted across the street to the Academy where I began oil painting and fell under the influence of Arther DeCosta and Seymour Remenick. Under these Painters, I was encouraged to develop a poetic sensibility which is from then on became a major theme in my work. Remenick once told me, “All roads lead to human,” which struck a chord with me. I have not dealt with galleries or dealers that much, but have sold my work with the assistance of my wife Jackie in my studio gallery on Forest Avenue in downtown Laguna Beach.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I work in Oil, Clay and Watercolor but recently most of my work is oil on canvas. I live and have a large indoor and outdoor studio in San Clemente California, about twenty minutes south of laguna along the coast. During the winter when it rains I like to go down to the beach about two miles away and paint moody stormy seascapes, not so much on sunny days. When it rains at night I sit in my car on the beach and paint. I use these sketches and my memory to create large seascapes back in my studio. I also paint, still, lives, nudes, interiors and florals but the overall mood is harmonious poetry that I hope moves people.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
In general, the artist today get very little in financial rewards or recognition. It’s kind of pathetic. That is why I am very hesitant to criticize another artist. If someone is willing to go down this path I think they should be left alone. Good art is very rare and fragile and appears only if the right cultural and financial circumstances are in place and sustained over several generations. Historically we have gone centuries without this happening. Sooo, right now…. let’s just say it’s not so great. Actually, I think cities are doing a nice job supporting the arts the problem is there is great ignorance on the part of the public; and they spend the dollars. When you go to school you study, math, English etc. and if there is any time left you to get art. So the kids get a message that art is not important.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I really don’t care much for exhibitions and art shows. I always thought they were a little odd like seeing animals in a zoo. When I create my work I like to have an idea where the work is destined for in my client’s home. that is one of the advantages of my studio gallery in Laguna Beach where sometimes I can meet the buyer, get an understanding of where the painting will hang, the wall color, furnishings etc. that go to create the complete effect. How else can you really do something nice? Of course, it isn’t always possible, but it is nice when it does.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 305 Forest Ave.
    Laguna Beach CA 92651
  • Website:
  • Phone: (949) 497-4322
  • Email:
  • Instagram: marc_whitney
  • Facebook: marcwhitney.37

Image Credit:

All photos by artist no credits required

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