Finding a Way
Local artist Mark Brunner has been steadily creating a path in a profession known for its difficulties, achieving what he has always hoped to achieve—finding happiness and prosperity in art.
Surrounded by used paint tubes and color-stained studio floor, Mark explains, “As a child, I would play with paint and get it completely caked on my hands; it was the greatest feeling. As I grew older, I discovered my childhood passion could actually become a way of life.” Years later, Mark reflects on his career choice, “To be able to do what you love for a living, I just can’t be grateful enough.”
Through word of mouth, outdoor shows, downtown L.A. Artwalk events, and partnering with local art reps and retailers, Mark consistently brings new work to life to meet the expanding rate of sales and commissions. “All artists work to build a path. I have found that by remaining flexible and open, I am able to reach a wider audience. Exhibiting at outdoor shows, rock clubs, salon-galleries, private showings, and all kinds of “non-traditional” art events has introduced me to wonderful people. For example, Amanda Vernon, co-owner of Toluca Lake’s own MindfulNest, responded to my work at an event downtown, and now my art is available in her store.”
Mark’s inspiration comes from a subject, usually solitary, presented in a lean environment, surrounded by color that enshrouds and highlights. “I choose a single subject to convey the idea of focusing on the one in order to better understand the collective. In the instance of a tree, we engage one tree before knowing the care or use of many. A human figure or pair, who we are as individuals, helps us to better understand a couple; a group; a society. A series of robots stand silently, touching on the benefits or dangers of technology. In these subjects, I pursue underlying themes of human exploration, journey, and balance.”
Mark paints in oils on hand-made panels, using a series of glazes until the image is achieved. A lot of the work is completed using his hands, literally. “I manipulate the paint using my palms and fingers in conjunction with a cloth to achieve a subtle gradation of tones,” he explains, “and though traditional brushwork finishes off details, I continue to love getting my hands dirty.”
A self-taught painter, Mark has studied archival oil painting methods through museum research and lectures. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Nadja, and their dogs, Monkey and Cletus.
Mark’s work can be viewed at www.MarkBrunner.com and is also available locally at MINDFULnest (3319 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505).