Artist's Statement

"I start every painting with certain expectations.  In the end, the goal is always to exceed those expectations. 
The work must be ambitious, otherwise what's the point?"

From my earliest memories, art has always played a role in my life. My father was a commercial artist as well as a stock horse trainer. I grew up with cowboys, horses, billboard layouts, type books, paint and brushes, and most importantly encouragement. 

Early on, my father introduced me to the art of Remington, Russell, and Will James. These beginnings instilled an interest in fine art, art history and a passion for the American West. My artistic influences are broad from Caravaggio to Frank Tenney Johnson.   When thinking of the artists that I have most admired through history, they all had one common thread.  They created dramatic impact in their works through a profound understanding of light.  In traditional painting, "Light gives Life".

Like my artistic heroes, my images are primarily concerned with the various qualities of light and shadow.  The transparent aspect of watercolor particularly suits it to my purposes. I employ many techniques (experimental and traditional) to get the desired results ...shadowed underpainting, transparent glazes, salt washes, scraping and bruising the paper.  

Since light is the main focus of my paintings, the entire physical world is potential subject matter.  Daily, I find myself surrounded by source material for paintings.  My love for travel manifests itself in ever-changing subjects and I have established a reputation, in large part, by painting monumental florals and scenes of the contemporary American West.  I approach life as a knowledge-hungry student, and consider painting both a rewarding learning experience as well as a profession.  I am excited by the medium and challenge myself with each new work.

Artworks by Marlin Rotach
Inquiries are always welcomed.
Contact:  [email protected]
"Ideas are to literature what light is to painting"...
Paul Bourget
Born and raised in Salina, Kansas, Marlin earned a B.F.A. in painting from Kansas State University. While attending K-State, he met and married his wife Carol. Rotach went on to complete his M.F.A. at the University of Nebraska. He went on to teach college level fine arts at UMKC and managed two art galleries in the Kansas City metro. 

Marlin's paintings have been chosen for display in over 200 exhibitions and he has been awarded signature memberships in 9 National Watercolor Societies. He has won numerous awards throughout his career, among which are 11 “Best in Show” awards”. Marlin is extremely proud of winning two Cheyenne Frontier Days Purchase Awards and accompanying CFD Trophy Buckles. For Frontier Days 125 Anniversary, his painting, American Anthem, was selected as the image for the Official Poster. Additionally, Rotach is honored that all of the major Western Art magazines have featured articles on both him and the book he co-authored, The River Flows: Watercolors of the American West. Marlin considers this book, and the accompanying exhibition, one of the crowning achievements of his art career

Career Highlights
“Master Painter of the World” - International Artist Magazine
“Best in Show”-Transparent Watercolor Society of America (Kenosha, WI)
“Best in Show”-Watercolor USA (Springfield, MO)
“Best in Show”-Aqueous USA (Louisville, KY)
“Best in Show”-Western Spirit Exhibition (Cheyenne, WY)  
“Best in Show”-Celebration of Western Art, Grand National Rodeo (San Francisco, CA)
“Best in Show”-Great Eight Exhibition (Wichita Art Museum, KS)
“Best in Show”-Art in the Woods all-media competition (Kansas City, MO)
Cheyenne Frontier Days Museum Purchase Award-2020
Cheyenne Frontier Days Museum Purchase Award-2017
Steel Dust Award 2017 – America’s Horse in Art, American Quarter Horse Museum (Amarillo, TX)
“Gold and Silver Medals in Aqua-media” – Bosque Art Classic (Clifton, TX)
People’s Choice Award-Hold Your Horses Exhibition (Prescott, AZ) 2020
People’s Choice Award-Hold Your Horses Exhibition (Prescott, AZ )2018
Award of Excellence-Western Art Collector Magazine 2020
Award of Excellence-Western Art Collector Magazine 2018
Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo 125th Anniversary Poster (Cheyenne, WY) 2021
Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo 2014 official poster (Cheyenne, WY)

 "There's something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man."

- Winston Churchill.