Marlin Rotach has known since a very early age that painting was his lifelong ambition.  Born and raised in Kansas, he 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 then taught design, drawing, and painting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Since the mid-1990's Marlin Rotach has worked almost exclusively in watercolors, doing paintings for both galleries and private commissions.  He has been awarded signature memberships in many prestigious watercolor societies including the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, National Watercolor Society and the Watercolor U.S.A. Honor Society.  In 2004, International Artist Magazine named him a Master Painter of the World.  His work has been featured in the North Light book 200 Great Painting Ideas, International Artist Magazine, The Artist's Magazine, The Watercolor Artists Magazine, Southwest Art, Western Art Collector and many others.  Marlin was awarded the Gold Medal in Water Media at the 30th annual Bosque Art Classic.   In addition, Marlin was selected as the "featured artist" for the 2009  American Royal Western Art Exhibition and the official poster artist for the 2014 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.

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, WY)
Cheyenne Frontier Days Museum Purchase Award-2017 (Cheyenne, WY)
"Steel Dust Award 2017" – America’s Horse in Art,  Quarter Horse Museum (Amarillo, TX)
Western Art Collector Award of Excellence 2018-Phippen Museum (Prescott, AZ)
“Gold Medal in Aquamedia-2015” – Bosque Art Classic (Clifton, TX)
"Silver Medal in Aquamedia-2018" - Bosque Art Classic (Clifton, TX)
Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo 125th Anniversary poster (Cheyenne, WY)
Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo 2014 official poster (Cheyenne, WY)

His paintings are in the collections of Bernstein-Rein Advertising, Cheyenne Frontier Days Museum Permanent Collection, Eddie Bauer Corp., M & I Bank, Emprise Bank, Truman Medical Center, Fidelity Bank, Koch Industries Inc., Governor Bill Graves (Kansas), Wyoming State Bank, Mark Shale Corp., Merrill Lynch, Quarterage Hotels, Alterra Bank and in the Permanent Collection of the Wichita Center for the Arts.

Rotach's original Watercolors are available through:
Sorrel Sky Galleries (Durango, CO and Santa Fe, NM).

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
​“There’s something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man”
Winston Churchill