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Alan Mager About

I am a self-taught artist living in northern Virginia. Although I love drawing and all types of artistic expression, I enjoy working with oil paints the most. I am a slow, meticulous painter, and oils really suit my style. My favorite subjects are landscapes and buildings, but I dabble in other things from time to time. Add Comment


I made my first attempt to paint with oils in 1977 and immediately fell in love with the medium. Since then, I have painted in spurts, often experiencing long periods of inactivity. But once I was exposed to oil painting I have thought about painting almost constantly. Andrew Wyeth once said, "I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious." He's right; the creation of art goes on mostly between the ears, not on the canvas.

In 1996, I retired from a career as a criminal investigator for the Federal Government and happily settled into a more leisurely lifestyle in which I could pursue my artistic inclinations. I tried making a name for myself as a singer and autoharp musician. Actually, I did pretty well at it. The culmination of that retirement career was my winning the International Autoharp Championship and other major contests, and I spent a good many years doing a myriad of autoharp-related things including performing, teaching, composing, arranging and publishing technical articles. Continuing with the performing arts, I then became involved in community theater as an actor, director and set designer. But through all this, I never stopped thinking about painting.

Finally, I decided that I needed to devote myself to painting as my primary artistic outlet. I built a nice studio for myself in my home basement and got back to the business of trying to solve the mysteries of oil painting. There is nothing more satisfying to me than a day spent in the studio. Still, the work goes slowly, but I have systematically removed as many obstacles as possible to doing it, and I am making progress.

I have never had any formal art lessons. From books, and more recently the Internet, I have learned a lot. Mostly, however, I figure things out for myself, and this is the most rewarding part of the experience for me.

Now I'm at a point from which I'm beginning to feel the need to share my art with others. I have started to exhibit at local shows, but now through the Internet I'm suddenly able to reach many more people than ever before. I only have a few paintings pictured here on ArtID. To see more, visit my main website at:

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Please note that I've recently published the second edition of my book Visions which features artwork created by me from 1968 to 2011. Click below to preview and/or purchase the book.

Visions ~ Alan Mager | Make Your Own Book

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you enjoy my artwork.


13739 Currant Loop
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