Every now and again, if you are lucky, you have the opportunity to bear witness to a great talent. I had that opportunity the first time I saw Marvin Plummer’s work. It intrigued me immediately and as I examined it more closely, it took my breath away. I could feel the back of my neck tingle and I thought to myself “Who is this guy?” and “What is he doing here?”
A mammoth-sized charcoal drawing of a dog, nearly 5 feet square, loomed over me as I ascended the stairway to his work space during the Santa Cruz Open Studio tour a few years ago. The drawing was charcoal on paper— that’s all the material he used, a stick of charcoal and a massive amount of talent.
When I got to the top of the stairs I was overwhelmed by the power of the drawing and stepped a few steps back down to take it all in. I wanted it right then and there but had to wait another year to make it mine. The image is so powerful you can see it from a distance. I hung it at the top of the stairs into the house so you will have the same experience that I did when I first saw it.
I was delighted to see Marvin’s studio filled with images of dogs — different dogs scratching, preening, or wriggling on their backs. He managed to capture the essence of each one. The impish look in the eye of a terrier, the affection in the face of another looking at it’s owner, the giddy relief of a good ear scratching in progress. I could not decide what appealed to me more — the flawless way he drew or how perfectly he captured the personality of each dog on the page.
Marvin has done a large sea-inspired mural on Swift Street and a mural at Kumbuwa Jazz Center that brings the musicians to life, as well as many commissions. He he is working on a series of artist’s portraits and I am honored that he has asked me to sit for one — I can’t wait for next summer when we can start working on it. Right now, I am happy to invite you to my store downtown as we host Marvin Plummer for First Friday this week. March 2 from 5-8pm. 310 Cooper St., Santa Cruz. Come see for yourself what he is up to next!