Mark has always loved art and painting. His parents got him his first oil painting lesson when he was 12 years old in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
He received his undergraduate degree in Art Education and a Masters in Painting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Currently 2 galleries, BE Gallery in Pittsburgh and The Artists Hand in Indiana, Pa. carry Mark’s paintings. He also has a studio on Etsy where many of his works are displayed and sold. As an art teacher he taught elementary and junior high art classes. He has taught classes for both adults and young people in The Artists Hand Gallery. Mark and his wife Kristi have 5 grown children and 8 grandchildren.
I have a few themes I gravitate towards. I love trees, especially birches and aspens, though I can’t tell you the difference. There are lots of farms near where I live in western PA, so a lot of my paintings have rural themes. Another favorite theme is umbrellas, especially umbrellas in the city. The repetition and variation of the umbrella shapes creates a rhythm that goes along with the rhythm of the people and life of the city.
I love color, thick paint, and loose brushwork. Inspired by the likes of Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning, my painting style could be called impressionistic or post-impressionistic. Although my paintings have recognizable themes, in many ways I look at them as abstracts – interplays of color, light and texture. The subject is a vehicle for paint, brushwork, bursts of color. I derive a lot of joy from these things and hope to convey that joy to others.
When I teach painting, I emphasize enjoying the process, learning little by little over time, and learning by imitating other painters. In my classes I hope to highlight techniques like color mixing, brushwork, composition, repetition and variation.
I’m so grateful that many years ago, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, my parents signed a 12-year old kid up for oil painting lessons.
Email: [email protected]
Mark Altrogge Studios (on Etsy)