Al Marcenkus

I was born and raised in Chicago, Il, the only son of 6 children.  I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and then proudly served in the United States Army.  Following my military career, I worked with General Electric until 2005 when I decided to devote 100% of my time to a career in Art.  

My art is an  impressionist to realist style in oils.  I was privileged to work with Dick Ensing, the well known Impressionist Painter of the Great Smoky Mountains, producing many plein air landscapes of the Great Smoky Mountains.    In 2011 when we moved to Florida, my focus turned to the stunning beauty of the Gulf Coast.  

My work has shown in numerous galleries throughout the United States and Europe, with many Best of Show honors.   



In the autumn of 2006, I had the opportunity to join "Art at the Zoo",  a fund raising event at the Knoxville Zoo.   I chose to paint Ernie, the resident silverback gorilla.  His enclosure was large with a clear window separating us, and I was able to set up my painting gear right next to the window.   Ernie saw me set up and start to paint.  He came right up to me, obviously curious.  When I turned the painting around for him to see, he recognized it was him.  He pointed to his chest and sat down right in front of me and posed for over an hour. Ernie was so intelligent and completely aware of everything happening around him. We developed a real connection over the course of a day. Upon return visits to the zoo, it was clear he remembered me and viewed me as a friend.   Ernie taught  me  a connection to whatever  I'm painting  is the key to great art.     Thanks, Ernie!    


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