Originally from Carbondale, Illinois, Marvin received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Southern Illinois University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Since 1990, he and wife Wendy, his business manager and assistant, made their living entirely through the sale of his artwork at juried fine arts festivals and through galleries across the country. Marvin died December 2, 2003 of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but he leaves behind an amazing legacy of art that Wendy continues to color and exhibit. Wendy still lives in their 1850s farm house complete with ex-chicken house studio, a print shop in the barn, three cats, and an ever-expanding garden.
Marvin’s blockprints begin with a drawing he has made on a flat block of wood or linoleum. Using very sharp tools, he cut the image into the block, carved away what will be white space and leaving the line. He applied a thin layer of oil-based ink to the block’s surface, and then printed the image onto paper using a hand-pulled sign press. Wendy then adds watercolor. If designed to be a dimensional piece, each individual component has been drawn, printed, painted, and then cut out and assembled using only museum-quality materials.
A frequent award winner on the juried art festival circuit, Marvin drew inspiration from his dreams and the books he passionately devoured. Combined with Wendy’s expressive use of watercolor, Marvin’s visions revisit the art of storytelling at an extraordinary, interpretive level.