Featured Artist Dave Martsolf

Artist Dave Martsolf focuses his artistic energy into large canvases and complex images with a surrealistic style. Visit his website to learn more.


allegorical surrealistic painting featuring a woman, a skeleton and a cathedral by Dave Martsolf

“The Cathedral” oil on canvas, 50” x 31” x 1”


I have been painting since the 1970s. During that time, I have worked in many styles.


surrealistic painting featuring people floating in space by Dave Martsolf

“Homecoming” oil on canvas, 22” x 29” x 1”


A blank sheet of any media immediately creates in me an urge to fill the surface. As the blank media is generally flat, my response often becomes a two-dimensional design.


surrealistic allegorical painting featuring a window by Dave Martsolf

“Windows of Allegory” oil on canvas, 48” x 32” x 1”


My love and intimate relationship with space and time, however, often sees the blank surface as a doorway into another multidimensional universe that takes shape as my eyes watch and aid in the development of the scene unfolding in front of me.


surrealistic painting of people with Ursa Major in sky behind them by Dave Martsolf

“Illumination Beyond Ursa Major” oil on canvas, 40” x 32” x 1”


How to describe this creative process? It is as though being there and standing aside to watch in wonder occur at the same time. Sounds like a good plot premise for a Netflix series!


surrealistic painting of the Calypso amusement park ride by Dave Martsolf

“Calypso” oil on canvas, 50” x 34” x 2”


In terms of two-dimensional abstracts, I have been directed by my inherent playfulness while creating to the dancelike quality of my drawing style.


surrealistic painting of a woman by Dave Martsolf

“Wonder” oil on canvas, 36” x 48” x 1”


You can see the results of this in my Dance Series. Imagine a modern dancer in a dark room with a flashlight in their fingertips, tracing arcing curves through space. This is seen by the observer as transient motion, but recorded by me as an EKG-like record of the totality of the dance’s energy, emotional direction, and purpose. I continue to document these energies in my abstracts.


allegorical surrealistic painting featuring a ferris wheel by Dave Martsolf

“Ferris Wheel” oil on canvas, 47” x 58” x 1”


As the focus of my life’s work, I have refocused major energy in the direction of my original style of surrealism, which I feature here. I am now working on large canvases of great complexity in a realistic surrealistic style.


allegorical surrealistic painting featuring figures and a star nebula by Dave Martsolf

“Topology 101” oil on canvas, 72” x 44” x 1”


I would not call the work “fantasy” as I push physical and metaphysical questions of reality to the forefront, rather than creating pap to the traditional themes of maiden in distress, etc. My surreal work expresses the long history of my involvement in this communication language. The first recently completed work in this return to my roots is “Topology 101.”


allegorical surrealistic painting featuring the artist and others by Dave Martsolf

“Here We Are” oil on canvas, 72” x 40” x 1”


“Here We Are” is the second work in this large canvas regenerative effort. In the midst of dark times politically, economically, and in terms of the pandemic, this painting shows the wonders of nature and the possibility for serenity and happiness on our unique small blue planet. The giant star pictured is an X-ray image of our own sun. The title asks the viewer to focus on the here and now, which is the gateway to all universes. The honeybee is actually closer to the viewer than the flowers in the foreground, a natural shock generator that attempts to wake the viewer up to the importance of the present.


Artist Dave Martsolf in his studio with his self-portrait

Artist Dave Martsolf in his studio with his self portrait oil on canvas


The images you see here show my primary development in the language of the surreal style with a new twist into a level-headed and hopefully optimistic view of the future of mankind. The abstracts will continue to dance as a primal response to life on this earth. I hope you will enjoy and benefit from both approaches to our lives here.


Artist Dave Martsolf invites you to follow him on Singulart, Art Sleuth and FineArtAmerica.


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