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John Marcum is a native of Missouri and graduated from St. Louis University with a Bachelor of Science degree. He began painting in oil in 1985 and in 1999 completed his first pastel painting. Since then, he has won awards in both mediums. John painted part-time for over 20 years while working in industrial sales. After retiring in 2008, he has been a dedicated full-time artist.
John was self-taught until he met local St. Louis artist Leo Shanika in 1990. He studied and painted with Leo for the next 20 years, learning and defining his own realistic style. John likes to paint Missouri landmarks, but also paints portraits, animals, still life, and landscapes.
John prefers bright, colorful scenes and adds vibrant colors whenever possible to enhance the subject. He says composition is the key to his artwork, and he starts defining the composition from the very first reference photos he takes. He constantly searches for the ideal mood and perspective, often using a photo taken at midday to create an evening or night scene.
From the beginning, John’s work in pastel brought about a looser style than his oil paintings and produced more interesting effects. Always eager to try new techniques, he found that with pallet knives he could create works of art with a more impressionistic look. Now his choice of tools and medium depend on the final look he seeks to achieve.
John is a juried member of the Greater St. Louis Art Association. His fine art has been sold throughout the U S. and his work is currently offered for sale in the St. Louis area.