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Mark Spencer Art

In the process of developing an image, I gain awareness of what part of the conflict between Nature and human nature that I’m dealing with. The image then begins to evolve and take on a life of its own. It becomes a being.

This articulation in oil paint lays the central conflict in his work at the feet of the male ego, driven to dominate nature through greed and power lust, to which both men and women can succumb.

Pictorially the work is animated by what appears to be a struggle to find balance. The resulting art, Spencer says, is a “hybrid reality, a bridge between the world of personal experience and the collective spiritual dream.”
Flowers are magnificent beings that have always inspired human awareness. Seeing beauty in a flower can awaken us to the beauty that is an essential part of our own innermost nature.

I’ve created flower paintings throughout my life. They are an escape from my process of always tethering my art to my worldview. I needed an escape from the tyranny of the times. Flowers’ beautiful colors and forms are endless expressions of Nature’s bounty and fill me with gratitude for being alive. 

In 2022 I was inspired by something that Eckhart Tolle wrote in his book, “A New Earth.” In the first chapter there is a brief discussion of the fact that there had to have been a period of our planet’s history when flowers first appeared. That idea fascinated me.

Researchers believe that the first flowers were probably orchid-like, magnolia-like, crocus-like or even small bush blooms. The lack of much fossil evidence allows me to imagine what they might have looked like and the environment they grew in. I did a series of six paintings that I call First Flowers, based in this idea.

Drawing is the bedrock of my art. I considered my ability to draw as the fundamental talent that I’d build my art upon. I felt that our creative culture had come to the end of a cycle.

Jackson Polluck had finally nuked western aesthetic values and that what we were left with was a kind of nuclear fallout: a vast archipelago of individual islands of creativity with no collective imperative.

So, I forged ahead with my love of drawing. What I found was an ability to discover a narrative in my imagination; a personal imperative through which I could see meaning.

In about 1982 I did my first monotypes. It was pretty much a disaster because I was trying to make a “finished” painting out of each image. Years later, I realized that monotypes were an excellent way to do studies based on my thumbnail sketches. They could be a way of keeping up with where I’m at psychically.
It’s like glorified finger painting. The process lends itself perfectly to maintaining the energy of the sketch while not getting hung up on the details. Some of my best works developed out of this method.


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