If there is one common characteristic shared by all artists, it is curiosity. Regardless of medium or genre, no one has been stricken with this more than Belgian born Marc De Waele. He is a painter, a sculpture, and a brilliant story teller who has captivated kings and laymen alike with his creative genius and charm.
It is curiosity that navigated Marc De Waele through the hurdles of a broken home and distracted parents. He found there was neither an interest nor disdain for his desire to study art. However, his own overwhelming need to know and to create became his beacon.
Like many masters before him, Marc learned a trade from a family member. His uncle mentored him in blacksmithing, and, at the age of 14, he was assisting with restorations and interior designs. While he enjoyed the fulfillment of creating with metal, at the time he was most fascinated with painting. His studies as a youth and into his college years would focus on this medium. Marc would eventually graduate, a master painter, from the Academy of Fine Arts in Eeklo, Belgium.
As a young student, Marc was insatiable and strived to gain respect and acclaim in his field. Anticipating the centennial restoration project of the Royal Palace of Belgium, Marc De Waele allowed his curiosity to take him one step further than most. Knowing this project would be an elite assignment, and that employment would be contingent on stringent testing, he set out across Europe to track down the few surviving artists who had been schooled in the ways of the old masters. Of the ten he located, he was met each time with the same response; “You do not really want to do this. It is too much work.”
Marc was able to convince four of them of his devotion, and they imparted the secrets they had learned from the masters before them. His brilliant planning paid off two-fold; not only did Marc De Waele pass the examination to renovate the eighteenth century castle, he was able to give guidance and corrections to those who were already working on the process.
The schedule was rigorous, but Marc still found time to paint for himself. He soon was approached by representation and, while in the midst of a three year commitment to the Royal Palace project, he began to display his original oils across the continent. His name became synonymous with a new style of art the critics dubbed “realisme santastique.”
Curiosity would lead Marc De Waele to travel, explore, and perfect his art throughout the continent of Europe. His work became a commodity in high demand, and life was good. However, Marc’s curiosity was never satisfied. The need to travel, to know more, was overwhelming. He could not seem to settle, and he found himself dreading each return home even more.
Into the second decade of his European adventures, Marc’s curiosity would lead him across the ocean and to new horizons. He arrived in Florida in 1999 with visions of employment with Disney or Universal. He was met with a much more sobering reality. The age of computers had made him obsolete to these prospects, so Marc De Waele settled in the Tampa Bay area and returned to the his roots. He began sculpting once more, embellishing homes as if castles, with his lavish metal furnishings and designs. He set to work, adorning businesses and homes with his beautiful trompe l’oeil murals, a mural style that deceives the eye and extends the imagery into three dimensions. He began to accept commissions for private, corporate, and municipal projects.
Nine years ago, Marc met the love of his life, Jill. It suddenly made sense that all the traveling and curiosity had been leading him to something very special. His wife, an artist as well, became his greatest supporter.
Curiosity has been a blessing to Marc De Waele. It has led him on remarkable adventures across the globe and provided him a wealth of inspiration. He continues to live, work, and bless the Tampa Bay area with his remarkable creations. And while Marc longs to travel still, his heart is home with Jill Oliver De Waele and his passion calls him to explore America.
A simple stroll down the streets of Tampa Bay will reveal glimpses of Marc’s work in sculpture. A more vivid view of his many talents can be seen at http://www.artsymphonyllc.com