Mark grew up in New Hampshire and moved to California to work his way through school, graduating with a degree in Industrial Design. He was most inspired and influenced by Chinese master painter, poet, musician and calligrapher Tseng Ta-Yu. He studied brush painting on silk, composition, philosophy and comparisons between Eastern and Western traditions.
In 1998 he studied printmaking and etching processes as an artist-in-residence at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California. In 1999 he met artist Dianne Anderson and soon moved to Juneau, where they share a country cabin and paint together.
Mark believes that the age of modern communications and travel have connected East and West, and in painting he tries to bridge between the two traditions. He feels strongly in the value of empty space in composition, like the spaces between notes in Miles Davis' music. He objects to our culture of hero worship and usually does not include large dominating objects of central interest in his compositions. Mark's compositions and techniques will not shout at you from across the room, but if you look you will find subtleties and unexpected joys. People listen more closely if you whisper than if you holler.
Man vs. nature is an obsolete concept, even here in Alaska. When Mark includes people in his paintings, they are humble visitors rather than conquering heroes. When he includes an angler with a fish on the line in a painting he tries to imply the fish might well get away: the fisherman is not in control of the situation.
"I paint almost all of my watercolors with a simplified palette of three primary colors, mixing all the hues that you see. I often combine hand-ground ink in the oriental technique with watercolor, and use Chinese and Japanese brushes for the liveliness of brush strokes and range of fine and weighty line that they are capable of in a single stroke."
For more of my work see http://www.markvinsel.com