Fine Art

About the artist

Todd Marsee is an award-winning Michigan watercolorist whose artwork is refreshingly unique, with peaceful and reflective qualities. His paintings have shown at the Toledo Museum of Art Collector’s Corner, and he has exhibited in galleries and fine art fairs throughout the Great Lakes region. In 2017, Marsee was awarded the Artist in Residence at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Read about the experience.

Todd has received a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from Eastern Michigan University and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from Siena Heights University.

Artist statement

My paintings are interpretations of the fragile beauty and resilience of nature. Textures, patterns and designs of nature inspire me to paint, as well as the properties of watermedia itself (watercolor, inks, tempera and acrylic).

Watercolor is a medium that balances control and surprise. My first step in creating a painting is to pour pigment onto wet paper. Next, I place materials such as wax paper, crepe paper and used coffee filters on wet paper. Once dry and lifted off, these materials produce textures and shapes that suggest nature. Lifting off these materials to reveal the effects of the reaction is always exciting. This provides me with an initial composition, into which I begin layering and defining the shapes and patterns I see developing. I use the spontaneity of watermedia, my intuition, and planned design to carry a piece from beginning to end.

Design elements range from suggested shapes, to hard edged blocks of color. Some areas in my paintings reflect objects found in nature, such as rocks, roots, or sky. Circles may represent cycles in nature: seasons, evaporation, renewal or deterioration. Hard edged, flat shapes generally relate to human development over nature – some are based on sidewalk patterns I have studied.

I am concerned with the effects of development over our natural areas, but ironically, also intrigued by the relationship this creates. Sidewalks and streets, when viewed from the sky or earth, provide interesting lines, textures and designs. By layering over my paintings, I am simulating the effects of human development.

It is my hope that my work will inspire a respectful and protective mind-set towards our land and resources.