It is a rare person who can find success as a full-time artist. Those who do often have interesting backstories to tell of their journeys to the coveted career of creating beauty for a living. Arnold Desmarais is such a person. His many years spent in the business world set the stage for him to parlay his artistic talents and his love of the sea into an esteemed and satisfying career as a painter of marine-themed works.
Desmarais grew up on his maternal grandfather’s farm in Rehobeth, Massachusetts, not far from the sea. His grandfather also owned a thriving jewelry business. Early on, he recognized Arnold’s artistic abilities. He encouraged and instructed young Arnold in some of the crafts associated with the jewelry business: illustration, design and engraving — delicate, tedious work requiring great skill and precision, which the boy mastered handily.
When Desmarais was in eighth grade, his grandfather talked him into taking a course at the Rhode Island School of Design on the weekends. Despite being years younger than his fellow students, he flourished as a prodigy, competing with his classmates in art shows and winning numerous events.