While Birmingham resident Marc Garrison has spent much of his career in the food service industry, he has always made time for his lifelong passion of creating art. Garrison started out with an interest in digital and abstract photography and later in life returned to school for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and printmaking at Wayne State University.
“My art combines digital and natural art mediums with my passion for the natural world,” he explains.
Garrison’s art features a mixed media approach combining his love of printmaking and painting with digital photography. He also likes to work with wood and utilizes local wood suppliers to create his own frames and wood foundations which help reduce his costs. In addition to original artwork, he creates custom projects and can print on paper, plastic, metal, and canvas.
His expressive art collages utilize a time-consuming layered approach which combines digital art with natural paint and drawing tools – and he usually works on multiple projects simultaneously. He strives to continually refine his approach and methods.
“Having my home studio is a real advantage as it allows me the flexibility to really throw myself into my work. My art has a lot of steps and layers so as a piece develops and evolves, I can return to it often any time of the day or night.”
While Garrison’s vibrant artwork style is abstract, he focuses on specific design elements and a well-balanced and blended color scheme – “color triads” – to create a cohesive, visually attractive finished work of art.
“I work intuitively. My art is abstract with a focus on layering and line. I start with a print I like and use lots of geometric shapes, especially circles and triangles. I like using color,” said Garrison. “I am also at times inspired by nature and like a forest-setting feel. I get a lot of my inspiration from the Cranbrook Educational Community. They have a great art museum, library and grounds which have been a tremendous resource for me. I love everything they offer – it is a gem in our community.”
Garrison’s artwork has been showcased at local art shows and galleries, as well as places such as Detroit Foundation Hotel, The Art of Custom Framing and Michigan Design Center. He recently donated a piece of art to the Bloomfield Township Public Library. His artwork collection can also be seen via his website’s online gallery where he sells prints, apparel and other items featuring his original designs.
In his free time, Garrison also enjoys tennis, golf, and Pilates, but his true passion is creating art.
“I am inspired by everyday life. I’ve had a good life and have been blessed with a great wife and family situation and more recently with extra time to devote to my artmaking skills,” said Garrison, “Art is a good addiction. I put feelings down on canvas. I can work with my hands and really connect with myself. It is so absorbing and takes you to such a good place. I have to make art – it’s so much a part of my life and DNA.”
For more information on Marc Garrison’s art, check out his online art gallery at marcgarrisonartist.com and follow him on instagram.com/marcdgarrison.
Story: Tracy Donohue
Photo: Laurie Tennent