The Trail Goes On

Painting at the dock in Suzhou, China, as part of the China Pastel 3rd Biennial

When I was four years old, my family moved from Wisconsin to the Andes mountains in South America. My love for massive landscapes has never waned. After graduating from high school in Ecuador, I moved back to the Midwest, eventually going to college in Southern California. Since then, I’ve lived in every corner of the U.S. except for that one in the upper right.

In 2011, my wife and I both left successful IT careers to focus on creativity and discovery. We sold or gave away all but 43 boxes worth of stuff and moved to Taiwan, where my wife was born and raised—full circle for her, a whole new hemisphere for me! For the next eight years, we explored Asia, India, Europe and South Africa from that base, discovering wonderful people and places along the way. I have had the joy of painting en plein air around the world. We are now based in the Pacific Northwest, where we continue to explore the surrounding mountains and woods.

My art teachers include Albrecht Dürer, Michelangelo, John Constable, George Inness, J.M.W. Turner, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, John Singer Sargent, Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish, as well as modern masters such as Casey Klahn, Cuong Nguyen and Matt Smith. As you can surmise, I have never met many of these teachers, though I have studied their work assiduously.

My paintings have been juried into local, regional and international shows, and some have garnered top honors. My work has been shown in the Triton Museum in Santa Clara, the Art Museum of Los Gatos, and the Haggin Museum in Stockton, California, as well as in galleries in Florida, Oregon, California and Taiwan.

I have also published magazine illustrations in colored pencil, alkyd and watercolor, and have done graphite illustrations for a series of five books for young adults, the first two of which were published in 2021.

When not painting or drawing, I can be found composing and recording original music, or writing a novel, short story or essay. Otherwise, I’m out somewhere hiking through the kinds of landscapes I love to paint. Or eating ice cream. I love ice cream.

Artist’s Statement

I am an avid explorer of the outdoors, and that experience informs and influences my creative work in art, music and writing. My intention is to convey the “feel” of a place, the emotions that are brought up as one breathes the air and takes in those surroundings. I also explore and express what I have come to call “Inner Visions,” scenes created within my imagination. These, too, are based on observation and my responses to both natural and human-made environments. I hope that my love of the natural world will inspire others to cherish this planet on which we live.

Experience and Exhibits

Memberships, Juried Shows and Awards

Signature Member, Pastel Society of America (juried in with signature status, 2019)

2022 – Juror, Awards Judge – Piedmont Pastel Society October Show

2022 – Awards Judge – Pastel Guild of Europe “Get Dusty”

2022 – Pastel Artists of Oregon “Spirit of Pastel”

2021 – Pastel Society of America “Enduring Brilliance”

2019 – Awards Judge – Pastel Guild of Europe “Get Dusty”

2018 – Pastel Society of North Carolina “Pure Color”

2018 – China Pastel 3rd (Suzhou) Biennial Show (Third Award for “Titan”)

2017 – The Cyber Art Show (Invitational)

2015 – Taichung, Taiwan (Invitational)

2014 – Dou Liu, Taiwan (Invitational )

2011 – Pastel Society of the West Coast “Pastels International” – Haggin Museum, Stockton, CA

2010 – Pastel Society of the West Coast “Pastels International” – Art Museum of Los Gatos, CA

2010 – Mistlin Gallery, Modesto, CA – Spring Exhibition

  • First and Second Place Awards, Pastel Category

2009 – Pastel Society of the West Coast “Pastels International” – Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA

2009 – “Creating the Natural World” – Mistlin Gallery, Modesto, CA

2009 – Mistlin Gallery, Modesto, CA, USA – Spring Exhibition

  • First Place and Honorable Mention, Pastel Category
  • People’s Choice Award

2008 – Fall Exhibition – Turlock Chamber of Commerce, Turlock, CA

2006 – Winter Exhibition – Hood River Gallery, Hood River, OR

12 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi mark! I understand you teach virtual pastel classes. Dont see ‘em on your website. Can you help me locate them? I am a newbie and love the medium and love your work. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Linda–
      I just finished one pastel workshop for the Pastel Society of America and I am working on my schedule for the rest of the year. I’ll post here when the schedule is ready! Thanks for checking in and letting me know you’re interested. I’ll be posting here as soon as I can nail down the next date. Best, –Mark


  2. Good Morning Mark, Would you consider doing a zoom demo for our local arts organization, the Tustin Art League. We’re located in SoCal and have moved all our monthly demonstrations to zoom for the time being.
    Thank you for your consideration!


  3. Just watched your demo for Central Texas Pastel Society and enjoyed it very much. Thank you for doing such a good job talking and painting. I learned a lot!


  4. Hi Mark
    Interested in your class that was posted on FB . I’m not able to attend the live streaming we are traveling this summer . Could you add me to your email list to notify me in your up coming workshop classes.
    Thank you
    Renee Carter


  5. Mark, I missed your ‘Rock and a Hard Place’ workshop. Is it available for purchase as a recording by any chance? Thanks!


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