Mark Christopher Weber

 

Mark Christopher Weber is a master artist whose style and technique can only be compared to the Old Masters. Inspired by Vermeer and Caravaggio and motivated by his faith in God, Weber has developed an eye for the essence, the awesome, and the truth. Painting the beauty and suffering of all things created, Mark sees what is before all of our eyes, but does not let it pass unnoticed. He freezes on his canvas what the rest of us are often too busy or too burdened to contemplate. He gives us a second chance to look, to ponder, and to be filled with inspiration and wonder. Mark resides in Kansas City, Missouri, where he began his career over thirty years ago. He was quickly accepted into the more prestigious Southwestern art markets where he is known as a premier painter of the Grand Canyon. Mark has
won numerous awards for not only his Grand Canyon pieces, but in every subject; Still life, Figures, Wildlife, and Landscapes. His varied subject matter is highlighted in his own book, Brushwork Essentials, published by North Light Books, currently in it’s second printing. Mark Christopher Weber was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1949 and grew up in towns in Ohio, Missouri, California and Arkansas. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas where he studied
painting under Donald Roller Wilson and sculpture under Robert Sweeny. After his graduation in 1972, he began his career as a professional freelance painter. Since 1973 he has lived and worked in Kansas City, Missouri. Artists who have influenced Weber’s work include Vermeer, Rembrandt,Caravaggio, Frederick Church, Thomas Moran, Georges de la Tour, William Harnett and Canaletto. I’ve always found it very satisfying and exciting to create images and objects with my hands. Throughout childhood I enjoyed working with the usual children’s art materials, especially modeling with clay and drawing cartoons. Despite my keen interest in art, any thought of taking formal art training was squelched for a number of years when I nearly flunked an art class in junior high. I was so distressed by the experience that I vowed to
never take another art class. In spite of my continuing interest in doing art, I stuck with my vow and studied journalism in college. However, I drew and sculpted for
recreation. I began to copy old masters’ drawings and in this manner learned how they used line, cross-hatching and shading to develop form and expression. Then I began doing my own renderings of photos that interested me. As I continued, I discovered that I had a deep attachment to art. At the same time, I was learning that journalism was not my cup of tea. The summer between my sophomore and junior year I worked as an intern on a large southern California newspaper. After that experience I was sure I wanted to be an artist rather than a reporter. By then I was willing to risk art classes again and took life drawing, sculpture and painting. My initial interest was in sculpture, and I only took painting out of curiosity. But once I began working with oils, I was enchanted. Roller Wilson, my painting instructor, is a master of representational painting and excellent in teaching the basics of oil technique. I now paint primarily in oils, but use acrylics from time to time.
As I discovered my talent in painting and developed my skill, I gradually gave more emphasis to it than to sculpture. From the very beginning the thing that fascinated me most was the quality of light: how it falls on objects and reveals their form and how it can be used to revel the character and heart of people.
College was also a time of personal change for me. When I began in 1968, I was an atheist. But, as a result of my studies in biology, representational painting, and history (one of my on-going interests) I found my “faith” challenged. In biology I discovered the incredible complexity of living organisms. Through realistic painting I learned new and analytical ways of seeing things, and saw in a new way how intricateand unified the physical world is. It is far more wonderful than anything that could be accounted for by the chance mechanisms of evolution. I had to abandon my atheism and conclude there must be some sort of intelligent force responsible for the existence and structure of the universe. Around the same time I was learning from history that human beings have a deeply rooted propensity for destructive, evil and foolish behavior which seems to be constant regardless of culture, race or level of civilization. It became evident to me that our human plight was so desperate that we needed the help of the universe’s Creator, although I had no idea who that might be. Shortly after my graduation in 1972 I had a person-to-person encounter with Jesus the Messiah and became a Christian. Since then I’ve sought to bring all aspects of my life, including my art work, into conformity with the teaching of the Bible and the Lord’s ongoing dealings with me. I have ended up painting mostly landscapes and the human figure and face. In
landscapes I am able to share my experience of God’s power and majesty in creation. In the paintings of people I can delve into the joys, pains and
frailties of human life, as well as God’s love for us and His ability to redeem. In 1979 I married Randi, a woman whose spiritual understanding and direction matched my own. One of those directions was to be available to give suffering people a helping hand. That motivated us to buy a large, old, run down house in an inner city neighborhood. As we had opportunity, we invited various homeless people in to live with us until they could take care of their next step. These included people from our own community as well as people who had escaped to America from war torn countries. As we had resources and time we gradually rehabbed the house and soon filled it with five children of our own. As our children grew older, we focused most of our time and energy on our own family. Of course I kept painting, sending my work off to galleries in the Southwest where they were well received and provided a living for my family. In 2004, as our last child turned 18, Randi and I began listening
for new spiritual direction for this new season of our lives. I am looking forward to more opportunity to focus on my art career, and want to start teaching to pass on my knowledge to the next generation.

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