Profile: Mark Mace

Mark’s paintings are a dance of life across the canvas from inside out as well as outside in.

Story by Kathryn R. Burke
All content © San Juan Publishing Group, In. All rights reserved.

Mark Mace[Carbondale, Colorado. 2012] KINETIC EXPRESSIONIST, MARK MACE has skated, skied, run, read, climbed, hiked, mountain biked, motorcycled and danced his way through life. Other lifetime interests include anthropology, social psychology, history (especially mythological and religious history), paleontology, philosophy, economics, philology, esoteric studies, music and art history. He began painting, seriously, as a watercolorist with no inkling that his painting style could or should have the slightest relationship to the way he did anything else.

Mark Mace painting in Ouray, Colorado
Mark Mace painting in Ouray, Colorado

Not unfamiliar with hard work, he initially assumed painting would require considerable effort. An apprenticeship in “sewing circle” groups and “workshops” doing “Bake sale” art led to some serious head scratching. The medium seemed rigid, technique- bound and subject-dominant. Most just wanted to learn to copy pictures, recycling lens filtered imagery. Individual creativity, expression and integrity were lost to slavish recording of a compendium of details without the essentials…content without context.

As a practitioner of yoga, Mark came to appreciate that doing art is an activity, a mind/body expression that makes the concept of ‘skill’ much deeper and broader in meaning. the product of which is an artifact. Art is, thus, not in the eye of the beholder, or in the eye of the artist. Its in the behavior of the art-ist by definition. ‘Ars’: Latin. To make an arrangement. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One’s sense of beauty is often beholden to the familiar. New directions in art can take a few years to be seen or at all appreciated. Mark’s hopes his art can be a bridge to new ways of seeing…less subject bound…for new viewers.

Casting himself into the “sea of grace”, New Year’s eve ’97, Mark painted his first ‘oil’, finding his skills greatly diminished in this slippery new medium but artistic possibilities vastly expanded. While representation is evident in most of his painting, his most successful canvases are expressions from imagination, memory, physicality, frustration, joy, play, rapture and amazement, part impulse, part response to what’s developing in color, shape, line, value and texture – a dance of life across the canvas from inside out. His energy and humor are apparent in any form: portrait, landscape, still life or abstract.

Mark paints and shows at his San Juan Art Gallery. Mountain Plaza Bldg, Hwy 133, Carbondale, Colorado. For an appointment or to view Mark’s work, call 970-948-3499, or visit his website:

Top: Self Portrait
Right:  Mark Mace painting at his gallery in Ouray. Image ©Kathryn R. Burke