Get to Know
I suppose I should say a few things about myself and my paintings. My name is Mark, I grew up in New York City, escaped in 1990, and now live in New Hampshire with my wife. I'm heavily inspired by nature's colors and motion. When I sit in front of a canvas I usually have a color in mind to start off with and everything sort of flows from there. Sometimes I have a loose idea but very few of my paintings are planned out. I kinda call it "painting by instinct". I've found that the more I try to plan out a piece, the less happy I am with the results. When I just start painting without a plan, I come up with things I didn't know were there.
I'm not happy with every painting I do, but a long time ago my wife convinced me to just offer up everything and leave it to the viewers to decide what they like. I was very surprised to find out that many paintings that I would have sent to the garbage bin were often the fastest to sell. Shows you how much I know!
In 1988, after graduating from high school in NYC, I thought I wanted to be a part of the music industry and went to Full Sail Center for the Recording Arts in Orlando Florida (1988-1989). While I was there all my friends told me I should go into art because I was constantly drawing in my notebooks. I thought they were crazy, but their comments stuck in my head. After a horrible job in a recording studio in NYC and a brief stint working at a record store I decided it was time to leave the city of my birth and head out to experience a different world.
I moved to CT and found the Connecticut Institute of Art (1991-1993). They don't exist anymore, but it was there that I fell in love with watercolors. It was also there where I learned to despise figure drawing. Even so, it was a good education. They ran us through charcoal, pencil, watercolors, advertising design, illustration, airbrush, figure drawing, and the early days of computer illustration. It was my illustration teacher who uttered the phrase, "Not everything can be a masterpiece". He also told me I had something and that I was gonna make it. Thanks Herb, both those comments have done more for me than I can possibly tell you.
By the time I graduated from art school, I'd had enough of the east coast megapolis and moved to New Hampshire. I started painting like a madman and tried to sell my paintings to print houses to have my work published as posters. This almost ended my career. I've been rejected in the past in my personal life, but the hundreds of rejections I got from these companies was... hard. It was a rough time and I didn't know where to go next.
Then the internet took off!
I started selling in 2000 when I was painting small watercolors. I had a great run from '00-'05 on eBay where I sold over 300 watercolor paintings under the handle 'goatlike'. I've since changed my eBay name because 'goatlike' is just too evil. I'm now 'doodlesincolor'. My eBay feedback can be viewed here: http://myworld.ebay.com/doodlesincolor. Because I was selling online I have kept a great digital record of my work. These paintings can be viewed from my Paintings Page at http://www.markwstevens.com.
From 2006-2009, at 37 years old, I went to college at the New Hampshire Technical Institute and earned an Associates Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology and a Degree Manufacturing Engineering Technology. My goal was to learn drafting as I've always had an interest in detailed measurements and technical drawings. A very different art than my loose paintings, but when I was a kid a ruler and compass were as much a part of my drawing as pen and pencil. It was fun and I learned a great deal but I made a terrible mistake... I took an Introduction to Oil Painting class and my love of painting freely came flooding back.
And that brings us to now! I'm painting in oils and again trying to sell them over the internet (drafting jobs dried up the year I graduated college). I'm now exclusively selling paintings here at ArtFire. I paint as often as possible and continue to keep a digital record of my work.
I think that's about all I got. Thanks for reading!