Backyard with Wheelbarrow 19 ½ X 15 ½
David Marshall’s paintings are part of a long tradition of painting from life. Many of his paintings refer back to the work and attitudes of artists such as Corot and Chardin. Marshall’s interest in these masters is reflected in his still life and landscape paintings. He shares with his predecessors the love of seeing and painting from life, and his interest is primarily in the painting process.
Drawing and painting is an integrated process that proceeds forward and retreats as often as not. Tonal harmonies and composition evolve throughout this process. The result is a painterly surface that often looks as fresh as if it were painted in one sitting; sometimes it is. The small format of the work invites the viewer to closely examine the surface of the painting to experience the history of its making.
The subject matter of the paintings - whether a figure raking leaves or a still life of kumquats in a bowl - has no narrative. While not obscure or intentionally repellent, the objects are merely a pretext for entering the painting process. The space between the objects is as important as the objects themselves. Without violating the goal of creating harmony, the subject is more often selected for its universality and its formal qualities than to posit anything but a visual statement. The discovery of a liason between an object and its enveloping space, the relative coolness of one area in shadow next to an area bathed in warm light, or the silhouette of a dark form in front of a light form is the subject of these paintings. Seeing and painting nature in all its elusive guises forms a challenging goal for Marshall. To the artist the painting itself is the aftermath of engaging in the struggle of seeing.
His work can be seen online at
Southport Harbor Gallery in Southport, Ct.
Oxbow Gallery, 275 Pleasant St, Northampton,MA
First Street Gallery, 526 W 26th St, NYC