b. 1973 St. Louis, MO
An up and coming artist, Mark Boedges has in a short time amassed numerous awards and shown his work in many galleries. Although art was always a part of his life, Mark came to painting in a more serious manner only during, and immediately after, college. Out of high school he attended the University of Kansas where he received a degree in philosophy. But by then the painting bug, and in particular painting plein air, had already taken hold. He went back to school to study Fine Art at the University of Colorado. Preferring a more traditional approach to painting, Mark left the program after two years to study exclusively from nature. Painting plein air had become his sole focus, and it would remain so for several years. Through this study his skills quickly developed. His first show was in 2003 and it was a great success, nearly selling out. But all artists need mentoring, and realizing that in order to further progress he needed guidance, Mark began to seek out other artists and to attend workshops to learn everything he could about his craft; which he continues to do to this day.
Among the top honors Mark has received are the Grand Prize for Landscape and a spot on the cover of International Artist magazine, as well as more recently the Joseph Hartley Memorial award at the prestigious Salmagundi Club in New York City, Best in Show at the American Impressionist Society's National Exhibition and Best in Show at the Scottsdale Salon of Fine Art.
While I paint many different kinds of subjects, the landscape is my first and greatest love. Like many artists, I strive to achieve a painterly realism in my work. I do this for a few reasons. As students we are taught to focus on what is essential in our subject; but this can be a subjective judgment. For me, what is essential about nature is its complexity. Everywhere I look I see the grittiness, cragginess and layered, fine-grained texture of the natural world. It is this essential complexity I try to capture in paint. Experience has taught me that the best way to do this is to let the paint do what it does best: look like paint. Drips, splatters, wipes, palette knife, various brushes, and plenty of other abstract paint applications are crucial. Exactly how painterly to make it is a question for each painting, and is dictated by the subject at hand and what about it I wish to capture. And since I mostly work outdoors, I should mention that weather, that simple and unalterable force of nature, shapes a great part of what I do and how I do it. Time is limited and a complete and literal rendering of every element is neither possible nor desirable. So while the idea is to simplify, I am careful not to make it simple, for nature is not simple in the least.
I'm a nuts and bolts kind of guy, and I adhere strongly to the 90/10 rule: 90% of what I attempt to do is hard, focused, disciplined work and 10% is something we usually call talent, or God-given ability. I spend considerable time focusing on (and fretting over) the many technical aspects of a painting. But ultimately there is a vision, a reason why I wanted to paint something in the first place; and it is my hope to remain true to that vision with each painting, and to convey it to you as clearly as I can.