Beth Marchant: Painting the Light


“Forgotten”, 12×16, Oil on Wood Panel, Winner of Best Use of Light and Color at the NOAPS 1st Spring Best of America SMALL PAINTING National Juried Exhibition at the Richland Gallery of Fine Art, Nashville, TN.

Artists are constantly looking for new subject matter; something that hasn’t been done, something new, something different.  But what if the artist took a common subject, and painted it with such feeling, atmosphere, and beauty, that no matter how familiar the subject, the painting is just remarkable?  That is the way with “Forgotten” by Beth Marchant.  When viewing this painting, one instantly feels the character of the subject, that it is calling to be noticed in the waning afternoon light.

Beth Marchant is largely a self-taught artist.  Though she was a studio art major in college, she has gained most of her skill from workshops and art reference books.  Until recently most of her work was commissions for architectural paintings, but she now is focusing on her landscape work.  Her ability to capture the light, combined with her experience in rendering architecture, has led her to create stunning scenes.

Tuckahoe Creek Farmhouse  “Tuckahoe Creek Farmhouse’, 16×20, Oil on Linen, Brazier Gallery.

Beth has been influenced by several artists of the past, including Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent, but she also gives credit to Loryn Brazier, a well-known portrait artist and gallery owner.  Brazier has mentored Marchant for over 15 years, providing encouragement, and representation in her gallery.

Waiting  “Waiting”, 12×16, Oil on Linen, Private Collection.

Most of Marchant’s paintings are landscapes, many with an architectural component, as well as animal and figurative work.  She works both en plein air and in the studio, and her process is nearly the same for both situations.  In the studio, she uses a photo (edited) or her plein air study for reference.  Starting with a small value drawing, she transfers her drawing to a toned canvas with a central axis on both as a reference point.  She then plots the points of the drawing on the canvas, and completes the drawing in thinned paint.  Following this, she paints in the values with the same thinned paint, making sure her values read.  Then the final stage is color, working from dark to light.  When working outside, time constraints may mean she skips the initial value sketch, but the rest of the process remains the same.

NOAPS marhcant in progress   Lakenvelder

“Lakenvelder”, in process and finished, 16×20, Oil on Linen, Brazier Gallery.

Marchant’s palette consists of Cadmium yellow light, Cadmium yellow medium, Cadmium red light, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine blue, Viridian, Yellow ochre, Transparent oxide red and Titanium White.  She works mostly on linen, but has recently moved to working on wood panels.  She uses a variety of brushes, from Rosemary sables and synthetics to Silver Brush extra long bristle filberts.

NOAPS Marchant - How Now... (Brown Cow)  “How Now…” 12×12, Oil on Linen Panel, Brazier Gallery.

Beth Marchant has enjoyed great success with her paintings, and notes that her recent award at the National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society SMALL PAINTING Exhibit was her greatest professional achievement.  She has some sage advice for all painters:

“1. Learn to draw and understand values.  2. Make a space and time to do your art on a consistent basis.  3. Don’t let fear get in the way.”

Beth Marchant is represented by Brazier Gallery in Richmond VA; Cabell Gallery in Lexington, VA; and Beach Gallery in Virginia Beach, VA.  To view more of Marchant’s work, visit

To view more artwork in the NOAPS SMALL PAINTING Exhibition, visit

Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director

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