Artist’s Statement

   " For a number of years, I’ve been practicing art. There are times: when I have eliminated everything but subject and materials; when I enter the mysterious union with that which isn’t me; when the awesome beauty of life is overwhelming. There are other times: when my paints and brushes are thwarting me at every stroke; when the color won’t work; when I’ve forgotten to be humble and ask for guidance. These experiences are the core of what art is. Sometimes it’s harmony, and sometimes it’s a struggle, but in either case art is about a profound connection between the artist and the outer world. "


Buffalo River Dream

“Art is a departure from ordinary reality from which one returns to find life more beautiful, more understandable, or more bearable.”


I think this quote originated with Robert Henri. Anyway, the words are a constant reminder to me what it is that I do. My experience as a painter has proven that definition of the Art experience. While I’m painting, especially when I’m painting from life, the world around me takes on an enhanced quality: colors are brighter, the life force seems stronger, time is suspended, and I feel wrapped in a profound appreciation for life, attuned to the beauty in all things.


Around the Bend

          I know that before I painted, there were times when I visited a gallery and realized that I “needed” the art “fix”. These visits sustained me through some admittedly “ordinary” experiences. So Henri’s words apply to both the creation and the appreciation of art.


          My painting is considered “decorative” by some folks in the art world, since I am attempting to portray beauty in my work. That’s OK with me, and if I have successfully conveyed the beauty of my subject, its partly because I have felt that beauty. There are a few conventions I use when painting, but I strive to keep my approach fresh and unformulated, and my subjects varied. This way I know there is a chance that I may be able to communicate the richness of my life as an artist to others.


                                                                                      MM Kent



Market Morning


MM Kent Bio 2012


My mother was a great facilitator so I learned to draw early,  painted a picture every year or so and as a young man took a couple of classes in drawing and design at the University of Texas in Austin.  After University I moved to Arkansas and became a “generalist” (carpenter, farmer, plumber, electrician, etc.) I applied my creative energy to the many tasks of rural life and raising children, drawing and painting occasionally. 


Building has always been a part of my life and I developed a variety of construction and design skills. Carpentry led to furniture making, which led to woodcarving, all of which still interest me.  The inclination to paint was always there  and in 1986 I began painting in earnest.  I was being drawn to specialize and consumed books on art and the history of oil painting.  I set out to become the best painter I could be.


In the last 25 years I have shown paintings in 14 states and won top prizes in several national competitions.  I’ve demonstrated painting on television, currently teach classes in oil painting and regularly demonstrate plein air painting at the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market.  My wife and I like to travel and I paint on location wherever I can.  And I’m still building: last year Anne and I finished my new studio and we are currently working on the renovation of a 1946 bungalow in Fayetteville.


I do figure painting, landscapes, street scenes and still life but have yet to paint my masterpiece.

I'm painting here on an outing with the

PleinAir painters of the Ozarks



Awards  -   MM Kent

2012- Best of Show - Herman Jaegger Festival Plein Air Competition - Neosho MO

2011- American Art Collector Award of Excellence

            American Impressionist Society 12th Annual National Juried Show

                            Mountainsong Gallery, Carmel, CA

2010- 5th place- paint the town Plein Air Competition

                            Marble Falls TX

2009- 3rd place- Heart of America Plein Air Event

                           Bentonville AR

2009- Honorable Mention- Navarro County National Juried Show

                            Corsicana TX

2009- 3rd place- St. Charles Plein Air Competition

                            St. Charles MO

2006- Founder's Award, Plein Air juried Competition

                               Springfield MO

2003- Wine Label Award, The Nude, Lexington Art League

                           Lexington KY


 2002- First Place National Society of Artists

                                20th National Juried Show

                                Nassau Bay TX



2002- Best of Show Hilton Head Art League-

                            2002 Nat’l Juried Exhibition

                            Self Family Arts Center

                            Hilton Head SC