Media Backgrounder

Mary Mark
Mary Mark is one of the finest & most sought-after relief block printmaking artists in America. Her distinctive handcrafted style creates compelling contemporary still life images and landscapes using modern living spaces, real world locations and accoutrements with the suggestion of human habitation but without the actual figures, forcing the viewer to imagine being an artistic subject rather than simply viewing them. These images put the viewer in the frame. They are inspired artistically by the funky perspectives of Cezanne, the fully saturated colors of Matisse and accented by the dramatic black line of Baskin. Using Picasso's reduction linoleum methods they are housed in a pre-Raphaelite presentation. These very contemporary settings and landscapes are heavily textured, pattern on pattern images out of a turn of the 19th to 20th century tradition. They have created a devoted base of art collectors throughout the United States and abroad.

Mark sells her linoleum block prints and oil pastels through many galleries and frameries throughout the U.S. and Internationally as well as at www.marymark.com. She exhibits in numerous museums and competes in national art shows from Denver to New York City. She has won numerous awards, grants and was featured with her process in Artist Magazine and will soon be on the cover of Sunshine Artist.

Style & Influence

This mixed media collaboration has emerged over time from the fine art of Mary Mark and the dedication of Mary Mark, David Johnson and Lost Steeple Originals, their studio, to the values and life style of the American arts and crafts movement. They share with that movement a cultural emphasis on the creation of fine arts crafted by hand from indigenous materials at prices affordable to all. Ms. Mark's artistic vision has also emerged from the 19th & 20th century arts and crafts movement with its pre-Raphaelite influences. Mix together the funky perspectives of Cezanne, the saturated colors of Matisse, the stylized botanicals of William Morris merge these into the expressive black line of Munch and Baskin; next add David's wood working skills uniting the design of the image into the finished framing; lastly add a peppering of the irreverent attitude of Picasso and the determination and self contained feminism of Georgia O'Keefe; and that unique palette that is Mary Mark's distinctive artistry becomes a full arts and crafts collaboration.

Mark's Distinctive Block Printing Style

Mary Mark's images are instantly recognizable. As a printmaker, she carves, etches and prepares the matrix through a number of meticulous steps, then must inevitably separate from her visualization over the three to four month process that can require as many as 20 individual color printings to register the detailed image. The layered color, perspective and concentrated design elements of the image emerge from a thousand cuts of the block and multiple printings of the paper. She uses the medium to create contemporary still life images using modern living spaces via brilliant colors and textures ultimately resulting in an artistic expression that is uniquely her own and actively sought after by her fans.

Lost Steeple Originals

Mary Mark resides and works in an 1876 church building in New Richmond, Ohio, a small river town outside of Cincinnati. Mark and her husband, David Johnson, purchased the church building in 1987 and founded Lost Steeple Originals to create, license and distribute her artwork. The studio is an annual destination for many student artists, day shoppers, and art connoisseurs.

Key Spokespeople

• Mary Mark, Artist & Founder, Lost Steeple Originals
• David Johnson, Chef de Cuisine, Collaborator, Partner