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Artist's Statement: Marc Wheetley


I am an Oakland, Tennessee resident who relocated from Olive Branch, Mississippi in 2005 after taking early retirement.  My wife of 47 years, Donna, and I have two grown sons.  I volunteer my time to Caris Healthcare in Somerville.


As a child I would copy pictures of birds and flowers from the encyclopedia.  I once worked on a paint-by-numbers piece so long that I broke out in hives from breathing the solvent fumes!  Throughout my adult life both painting and photography have been steady hobbies though they occupied less and less of my time as my career occupied more.


Although I have taken portrait and other classes over the years, I am more self taught than formally trained.  Portraits done in oil are my favorite type of artwork; but I also paint pet portraits and other works in pastels. I am endlessly fascinated by the way in which the slightest change in a mouth or an eye can make such a profound change in the subject’s appearance.  It’s funny that I have noticed the same effect in the dog portraits I’ve done.  


Painting for me is a challenge and a struggle punctuated by moments of pure joy.


Artist’s Experience


  • Studied portrait painting under Ted Boyer (1985)

  • Studied portrait painting under Kay Spruill (2007)

  • Studied painting from life under Anne Enochs (2008)

  • Won Honorable Mention in the Mid-South Fair art contest for pastels (1992)

  • Won amateur 1st place in the Mid-South Fair art contest for pastels  (2004)

  • Won Best of Show in Fayette County Cotton Festival art contest (2007)

  • Displayed oil and pastel works in lobby of Oakland, TN Chamber of Commerce lobby (2008-2009)

  • Have painted human and pet portraits on commission (2007-2009)

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