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Excited to announce my new book: “The Apocalypse Variations: Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days”

June 26, 2019

I am excited to announce my latest book – available now on Amazon
in Print and E-Book. < affiliate links, thx ]

The Apocalypse Variations: Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days collects all of my work from #30x30DirectWatercolor2019.

The book was my personal goal for this year’s marathon. Not just finishing the paintings on time. But doing something worthwhile with them.

I’m proud of each of my books in their own way, but this one is special for me. I feel I’ve made something more mature. This slim volume is my most personal book to date.

This whole month of talking about the painting marathon, I’ve been intentionally quiet about the real thinking behind the paintings.

The story that so many of you have been seeing in the art.

I’ve always been in love with the technical aspects of painting. I can talk shop for hours. All that ‘what brush do you like’, ‘what are your favorite colors’.

The new book has none of that. But it’s full of everything else. All the reasons why the paintings came out of me as they did.

I have loved blogging and sharing stories about travel and art on this blog, and in my other books. But, as a plein air painter and an urban sketcher – the work has never been about anything personal. Not really.

Painting on location is almost a mechanical process. You are a kind of art-camera. You record what you see like a documentary filmmaker. Yes, of course, it’s art. Every person’s view of a place is unique. But still – it’s always been easy to stay on the surface. To avoid being too serious. Just go to some nice places and enjoy your visit. Make some pretty paintings.

This project has been an entirely different experience for me.

In recent years with the slow-motion decline of my parent’s health and the final sputtering end of my career as a commercial artist, and the realization that my dreams of full-time travel-and-art are no longer compatible with reality (I’m getting too old, and frankly, too broke), I’ve had to face some serious questions about why I do art.

What is the motivation to live this lifestyle? Is it even worth it? What is the value of my lifelong dedication to the craft of painting? (In particular, my brand of painting quickly, directly, expressively. Work that I love, but that might fall below the level of ‘real art’ in some people’s eyes.)

This book seems like my first real step towards the future.

(Sorry – you’ll have to indulge me in some self-congratulation. Which, I think is a crucial skill for a fine artist. You need to do this for yourself, or how else do you keep going? :)

So yes! There it is!

I hope you’ll be interested in this new type of book from me.

I hope you’ll find something worthwhile in my analysis of my own paintings, my own motivations – and in seeing a tangible example of what I think the whole process of living creatively might look like for an artist today.

And – if you do pick up a copy – please do leave me a review on Amazon.

I want to know what you think, and, leaving honest reviews is an immense help to the author. It’s the lifeblood of bookselling these days.

My thanks, in advance,

The Apocalypse Variations: Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days
now on Amazon in Print and E-Book

13 Comments leave one →
  1. KathyAnne Whittemore permalink
    June 26, 2019 11:49 AM

    Hello, Marc —

    Congratulations on your new creation!

    I’d like to respectfully ask if this is a book-published version of your June blog posts (writing + images)? Or is there new and different writing with the images?

    Best wishes, KathyAnne “Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby Spirit speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.”~Malcolm Muggeridge


    • June 26, 2019 11:56 AM

      It’s all new writing. It’s in fact, all the real thinking behind the paintings that I’ve kept close to the vest while writing the blog posts :) Personal Stuff I’m more comfrotable putting in the book, rather than subjecting all the blog readers too ;) Thanks for asking!

  2. June 27, 2019 11:03 AM

    You have inspired me to do something similar with pigments and paper, Marc, and I thank you! Have put your book in my cart at Amazon and will enjoy seeing all the paintings together. This is an amazing accomplishment and each painting is more stunning than the last. Congratulations!!

  3. Emily Neel permalink
    June 28, 2019 8:57 PM

    Congrats on your new book. Just purchased! Beyond excited!

  4. helgeopdal permalink
    July 1, 2019 3:10 PM

    I just placed my order, and I will be waiting for at least a month in great anticipation, since my home is far above the arctic circle in Norway. I know that I will read every word and study every detail in your images, since your words and your paintings her on this announcement really speaks to me. Good luck with your future.

  5. July 2, 2019 10:36 AM

    Marc I have followed your work, Urban Sketchers and even bought a series of very small watercolors, as well as your book Direct Watercolor. The latter is often open in front of me on my painting table. I’ve been checking your IG feed on this series as well. But it is what you wrote above about this project that sent me over to Amazon to buy this book. I must say your honesty and openness about the reasons behind this somewhat “heavy” work is compelling. And it is thinking I can relate to. I lost my mom to Alzheimer’s and a sister. And I certainly wonder whether our species is capable of surviving coming climate crises. Anyway, thank you for that intellectual honesty. I look forward to receiving the book and will give it a review on Amazon. I wish you the best.

    • July 4, 2019 10:52 PM

      Thanks Doug for the good words. I think we’re getting to the point in life where wisdom arrives against our will. I’m hearing from a lot of people in our similar situations. I kind of understand what a mid-life crisis is now! Hah!

  6. Dell Hollingsworth permalink
    July 10, 2019 10:26 PM

    Marc, I just recently stumbled onto your work, and I am blown away by this blog post and the sample pages! Even though the subject is dark, these paintings are painfully gorgeous. They remind me of Victor Hugo’s paintings, which I have loved for years. I’m off to buy a copy. Thank you.

  7. August 10, 2019 4:16 AM

    Marc, I have been admiring your work for many years now and enjoyed the few occasions to have a chat in person with you but honestly I´ve always appreciated your reflections on sketching/painting at least as much. They seem to me so sincere, generous and free of the fear to share your thoughts and doubts and in this way are a great source of inspiration and to get deeper in my own creative process. I´m looking forward to get a copy of your new book after the weekend :-) A warm hug from Spain!

  8. Caroline permalink
    September 18, 2019 1:57 AM

    Hi Marc, I ordered your book straight away from Amazon- love it! I’ve just picked it up again looking at some of the compositions (love the ink sketching too!). I was wondering what colour palette you were using for these? Also, bravo on oils, look forward to seeing more of them (on this site?) Cheers, Caroline

    • July 11, 2022 3:13 AM

      Hello again, I am struggling with pneumonia (it sucks!) and I pulled out my copy of your book. I’m going create my own challenge while doing the required sitting up to drain the lungs.
      I adore the colours you have used, could you tell me you used, it’s so different to my own, and suits my grim but determined attitude these days! Caroline

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