Mark is an Architect and his architectural career has spanned nearly four decades. Mark started painting seriously with watercolors in 2010, looking for a creative outlet and after finding some free time after both his daughter Sara, and his son Kevin went to college. He was also inspired by Ms. Gloeckner, his brother’s mother-in-law who started painting regularly at age 78. She is still painting at age 104.
Asked about his first experiences with watercolors, artists he admires and why he paints, Mark wrote,
“While in architecture school, I took an introductory watercolor class in the art department hoping to gain an edge with my architectural presentations. But I never got comfortable enough with watercolors to actually use them on any of my presentations, falling back on colored pencils, colored markers or pen and ink, the standby, favored mediums of my classmates. I can’t say I was an accomplished watercolorist after completing this class, and I didn’t give it much thought for many years. Maybe I took the class for the wrong reasons. At that time, my goal wasn’t to be a painter but to be the best architect I could be.
However, after college I did develop an interest in art. In 1983, there was an exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts of some French architects who in the 19th century traveled to Greece and painted watercolors of reconstructions of ancient Greek ruins. I worked near the gallery at the time, and I went to see the exhibit just about every day for several weeks. The paintings were both fascinating and spectacular and left a long-lasting impression on me.
I like the way watercolor paintings look. Two of my favorite watercolorists are Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent. I’ve studied all of their work. I particularly like Homer’s landscapes in Barbados and Florida painted in the later part of his life and Sargent’s architectural and garden scenes of Italian subjects. I like the landscapes of the impressionist painters. I also like southwestern art and the Taos movement in the early 1900’s. I really admire the work of E. Martin Hennings.
I like to paint because it enriches my life. I look at things differently since I started painting. I look for the beauty and harmony of things and places. When you paint something you have to really look at it and study it in detail. Somehow, this process connects me to what I’m painting – etching it into my being. It makes me want to travel more and see new things. The trips Kevin and I have made to Big Bend and the Guadalupe Mountains have changed my life.
I like the feeling of getting lost in a painting and losing track of time. I like the challenge of facing a blank sheet of paper and then being able to express myself by painting in a way that only I can do. I like painting with watercolors due to the transparency and surprises the mixing of the paints offers. I like the fluidity and the surprises and how you are forced to keep moving – I don’t do much backing up. I plan to keep painting for the rest of my life. I don’t worry about where I would be with my painting if I had started any earlier. The paintings I’m doing now I couldn’t have done when I was younger”.
Mark and wife Jerri live in Conroe, Texas, where Mark swims, takes long walks, BBQ’s, works in the garden and paints.