Biography and artists statement
With sixty plus years of experience, I am largely self taught but have attended some formal classes: I studied with the late Howard Trafton at the Art Students League of New York, (I was his evening monitor) and have attended workshops, (Sigmund Abeles, Judi Betts, Kim Casebeer, Linda A. Doll, Serge Hollerbach, Jack O'Neal, Jason Sacran, John Salminen, Mel Stabin, Phil Starke, Arne Westerman and Joseph Zbukvic). I have also participated frequently in life-drawing sessions.
In juried exhibitions I've had numerous works hung across the country, winning my share of awards. I have served as a juror myself. I'm a member numerous art groups and hold or have held signature membership in the National, the North East, the Southern, the Kansas, the Pennsylvania Watercolor Societies, and the Watercolor U.S.A. Honor Society.
I love using watercolor however some of my work these days is done with pens, markers, acrylics or oils. I find that the switching off forces me to think out my process more carefully and further, makes it more fun.
As a visitor to this website will become aware, I do a lot of outdoor "plein air" painting. I've painted outside in England, Mexico, Canada and Australia as well as widely in the USA.
Between April 2007 and June 2013 I completed a personal challenge to create four to six pieces of artwork, (11x15 inches or larger) in each of the 105 counties of Kansas. Many, many nights in motels, over 16,800 miles driving and I have them done. I have produced a DVD, 'Traveling Kansas' that shows this work.
In September and October of 2013 I painted every Kansas landmark named in a transcontinental motor car touring guide. In March of 2014 I published "Sketching the 1916 Midland trail Across Kansas", my book presenting these sketches.
In August through October 2014 I painted pieces showing every site named or related to the route of the 1914 Kansas White Way motoring road. In February of 2015 I published "An Open road", my book presenting these pen & wash sketches.
Starting in March of 2015 I completed sketching sites along the intertwined Golden Belt Road, Union Pacific Highway and Victory Highway. Related to these I did sections of the early route of the King of Trails, the New Santa Fe Trail Highway and the Blue Line Highway. Maybe someday I'll work on another 'road' book.
I have done other series of art works such as my 'Justright series', 'Lincoln series', 'The Big Bend National Park Experience' and 'The Paper Moon series'.
...and yes, I am 'manfrommerriam' on WetCanvas.