Mark Monsarrat, American
ARTIST’S STATEMENT: Landscape for me is the cradle of life; warm tones, wide-ranging mood, from peaceful to powerful ("sublime" to the Romantics). Its elements are individually expressive: trees alive, skies expansive, clouds dreamlike; with majestic mountains and reflective waters.
My first love is painting outdoors “en plein air”, inspired by the 19th-century romantic, tonalist landscape painters such as Bierstadt, Keith, Hill, Durand, Cole, and the later American, and in particular, California Impressionists like Edgar Payne and William Wendt, among many others.
A tonal colorist, I build value and structure from direct observation of nature, and infuse my paintings with atmosphere and mystery, bold color and a sense of abstract. I strive to create a personal interpretation that involves the viewer’s imagination, tapping into a universal, timeless and inspirational quality.
As Magritte once said, "Art evokes the mystery without which life would not exist." As contemplative windows onto another side of life, the goal of my paintings is to bring a special beauty, peace, and reflection into our lives.
Mark Monsarrat, a plein air artist creating traditional oil landscape paintings inspired by the Hudson River School, Craftsman (Arts and Crafts), and Early California Impressionism styles, is a recent MFA graduate from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. A Renaissance Man with five college degrees and experience in engineering, business, and art, Mark sold his first painting at the age of 14. By 30, he left his birthplace Columbus, Ohio for historically rich San Francisco, earning his BFA from the California College of the Arts.
Over a long and varied career as an artist, Mark created and sold fine drawings and prints as a San Francisco Street Artist engaging buyers from around the world, owned his own gallery, sold to gift shops, through galleries, and at weekend festivals throughout the Bay Area and the western United States.
Fulfilling his original dream to be a serious landscape painter, Mark attended numerous plein-air workshops and paint-outs, as well as teaching, and finally returned to art school, earning his MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree, focusing on traditional, high-quality plein-air and studio landscape paintings in oils.