Featured Artist Mark Larson

Artist Mark Larson paints sweeping canvases that convey his love of nature, earth and wildlife. Visit his website to see more of his oil paintings.

 

In the Tropics

“In the Tropics” Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 96″

 

Nature, and our relationship to it, has been a lifelong source of fascination to me. One of my earliest memories as a ten year old boy is throwing a couple of duck decoys over my shoulder, and riding my bike with hip boots on to a nearby marsh so I could sneak up on some mallards just to observe them.

 

Lifeboat

“Lifeboat” Oil on Panel, 34″ x 28″

 

As I’ve grown older, I’ve seen how nature has been both helped and exploited by mankind. This dialectic is now a driving force in my work.

 

Lazy Boy

“Lazy Boy” Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 48″

 

Although my early drawings and watercolors reflected a focus on straightforward realism, it wasn’t until I finished my bachelors in painting, drawing and printmaking at Portland State University that I was challenged to explore my inner landscape and find my true voice.

 

Installation

“Installation” Oil and Gold Leaf on Panel, 60″ x 48″

 

This, combined with travels abroad to Italy, turned my visual world upside down. Images of nature were suddenly transformed with classical architecture, symbolism and a bit of surrealism.

 

May Day

“May Day” Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 48″

 

I settled on oil paint as a medium, using traditional supports like canvas and panel, because of its buttery richness and its ability to convey grand ideas.

 

Reliquary

“Reliquary” Oil on Canvas, 60″ x 84″

 

I love to paint huge canvases. My recent series of large environmental-themed canvases are as large as five by seven feet. These large works have a power about them when seen in person, and it’s a great feeling when someone falls in love with them and I get to see them hung. For me, life doesn’t get much more rewarding than that.

 

Thaw

“Thaw” Oil and Silver Leaf on Panel, 12″ x 16″

 

I do also paint smaller works for their immediacy and pleasure in creating them. As a printmaker, I will soon be starting a new series of small dry points that will hopefully be the impetus for larger works as well.

 

Spring

“Spring” Oil on Panel, 16″ x 20″

 

My goal as an artist is to instill a sense of wonder and mystery, and ask questions that might help people see our connection to the natural world and to each other in a fresh new way.

 

Fast Food - Passenger Pigeons

“Fast Food – Passenger Pigeons” Oil on Panel, 20″ x 60″

 

Perhaps if we become more aware of how we each have a role in influencing the world around us, we can avoid making some of the mistakes of the past.

 

Modern Landscape

“Modern Landscape” Oil on Panel, 48″ x 48″

 

One can only hope.

 

Mark Larson invites you to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

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Comments

  1. I like the idea of what you are doing. I too seek mystery in my work though in a different way. I used to be a volunteer at the Museum of Natural History in Chicago and have a naturalist’s certificate from there so I can really appreciate what you are doing. Nicely done! If you are interested, you can see my work on facebook, on my Linkedin profile, and on Artslant (they put me under the G’s)

    • Hi Hana, thanks for the kind words and for sharing your work. It has a primal energy I really like and the symbolism resonates with me also. Are you a Kandinsky or Tatlin fan by chance? I used to enjoy deconstructing their abstract paintings to analyze their structure and then see if that would be an impetus for new realist work. I’m starting some small 10″ x 8″ monochrome pieces now featuring portraits of extinct or endangered animals that are fragmented and deconstructed so that they will look like disintegrated old black and white glossy photos. Relics come to mind. I like disintegration and fragmentation because it adds an entirely different layer of symbolic meaning and mystery.

      • Did the Artslant address work for you? or did you just have to type in my name? As for Kandinsky, He and I are both strongly influenced by music. It is music that connects us, nothing more. I grew up improvising compositions on the piano and I have always loved movement. I would dance all by myself as a child and stand before records of classical symphonies and pretend to conduct the orchestra. The movement and energy you perceive in my work is just another extension of movement in my body.
        Regarding your new project coming, I used to be a volunteer at the Field museum of Chicago and went there as a child almost every week. I love natural history and stories of the great explorers..
        I will be looking forward to seeing the new work.

  2. Your work is fascinating Mark, altho frustrating to view it in such a small format! I can only imagine how magnificent it must look in person! Love all the mystery and story telling going on it them…beautiful work!!!

  3. Thank you Kathryn. I agree, it is much better to view large art in person so you can engage with it and really experience it. Even so, I’m grateful for the opportunity to have new people see it. Glad you like it!

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