Marty Harris is an Artist and Illustrator. He has made a living as a digital illustrator for over thirty years, since receiving his MFA in painting from Indiana University. An assistantship with the I.U. education department, illustrating a computer based training program for the Navy set him on a tack to become an illustrator, that and the new Macintosh, which hit the shelves a year before graduation.
Upon graduation, he and his wife, Victoria, headed to Minneapolis to set up a home, begin a career, and a family. A third of a century passed. The children grew up and began making lives for themselves. Marty and Vic started tending to other loves.
Vic took up the art of bird feeding while Marty started scribbling in Moleskine sketchbooks. Sketchbooks became a passion. He founded an international sketchbook exchange, which at it’s height had 400 participants around the world.
He began making prints while studying for his BFA at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. He picked up printmaking again in 2008, first at Highpoint Center for Printmaking, then at The Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Intaglio and screen printing are terrific media for the drawer and graphic artist.
Marty and Vic began taking regular trips toward the North Shore of Lake Superior. They became particularly fond of the dramatic landscape of Jay Cooke State Park. In 2015, Marty was honored to work as an Artist-in-Residence at The Grand Marais Art Colony. He dreams of spending time with his wife, as an Artist-in-Residence on Isle Royale, making art and feeding the birds by hand.
“Landscape provides inspiration without judgement. I don't think a tree cares how you draw it. A tree has never thrown a pine cone at me in protest.”
A BRIEF ARTIST'S COMMENT
I invite you to go back to any one of my pictures and spend a minute, 60 seconds, focused on the marks. This is where I live. In my best drawings every mark is a character, every stroke is evocative. As I age, I grow further from rendering likenesses. A landscape setting, a still life arrangement, and a portrait situation have each become springboards to more abstract responses. If these images strike you as strictly representational I encourageyou to get a little closer…closer…to see the drawings within the drawings. The big picture is designed in the first two seconds. The time is in the marks. The time is being there, in the present. It is important for me to be out in the landscape responding to details my mind could never conjure.
THE SHORT LIST
I am a little bit Max Fleischer, Tex Avery, Disney, Tom Terrific, Check Jones, The Flintstones, Hanna Barbera, Grampa Ken, Dick, Janne, Golden Books, 50s and 60s Album Covers, Margaret Keane, Madaline Mattaway, David Stone Martin, Ben Shahn, Monet, Seraut, Jon Gnagy (TV artist), Norman Rockwell, my father, my brothers, Mad, Marvel & DC, Will Eisner, Giiuseppe Cappe, Andrew Wyeth, Michelangelo, Henri Matisse, Ms. Vincent, Bob Anderson (Doc), Degas, Al Parker, John Singer Sargent, Manet, The Egyptians, Charles Dana Gibson, The Society of Illustrators, National Geographic, my brothers some more, Picasso, Georges Seurat, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Vincent van Gogh, E. H. Shepard, Maxfield Parrish, Honoré Daumier, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Vermeer, Stuart Davis, Victoria Thor (my spouse), Judith Roode, Fragonard, Boucher, Phillip Guston, Balthus, Franz Kline, The Romans, Alexander Calder, Heinrich Kley, Paul Klee, Louise Nevelson, The Greeks, Claes Oldenburg, John Sloan, George Stubbs, R. B. Kitaj, Everett Shinn, Delacroix, Courbet, Joseph Raffael, Mark Trial, Judge Parker, Edward Hopper, Piero della Francesca, Kandinsky, Milton Avery, George Inness, David Park, Neil Welliver, Elizabeth Murray, George Bellows, David Hockney, Rodin, Lorenzo Ghiberti, George Herriman, Rembrandt, Miro, Paul Pope, Antonio Donghi, Margo Margolis, Jim Wilson, Stanley Whitney, Goya, Christophe Marchetti, Felix Vallotton, Graham Sutherland, Ivan Hitchens, and more each day.