Mark Clarke (1935-2016) American, 1935-2016

Painting is something I need to do – create – to work with color and composition – from my imagination, memory, and observation. – Mark Clarke, Artist Statement, 2009


Next exhibit: September-October, 2022


Venerable Eugene artist Mark Clarke was best known for his unique and quietly powerful landscapes of the Willamette Valley.The Central Oregon Coast, Fern Ridge, and the rural farmland of Oregon are his subjects. Some paintings of his paintings he began on location, then painted on for long periods in his studio. Others are entirely from his imagination, drawn for a lifetime of living in and painting this region. Clarke's vision of the landscape is soft and luminous, almost dream-like. Mark buit and painted all of his own frames, complementing his work with an additional element that expresses his aesthetic and artistic commitment.
Another direction was his experimental, figurative works, generated primarily from his imagination, which are quite different from his landscapes. He used this body of work to experiment with a variety of techniques for handling paint: lots of texture, more impasto, wide brushes, painting knives, and glazes, all of which bring powerful boldness to these pieces. 
In describing his work, Mark said, "It's hard to talk about paintings like these because there is no formula. They come out of the process -- the working on them. Things change from day to day. I work on them over and over and over again...even these little ones. It's like landscaping -- moving the shrubbery around!"