Monday, November 4, 2013

Mark Goodwin - Honesty and Simplicity

Archeology - Mark Goodwin
21.5"h x 15"w - 2010
milk paint, beeswax on paper

Many of you know that I am a fan of Pinterest and on occasion I publish links to artists whose work I find interesting.  Today is one of those days and I want to introduce you to Mark Goodwin, an artist living and working in Vermont.

Hint 1 - Mark Goodwin
42.5"h x 36"w - 2011
rabbit skin glue, pigment, graphite, milk-paint on paper

Mark's work spans painting, works on paper and sculpture.  His work has a spontaneous quality and is a bit raw and primal.  The scale of the pieces are modest and his color palette is mostly neutral.  The work spoke to me about honesty, trust and sublimity.  The work has a quiet confidence and modesty which I find very appealing.  It's the idea of showing your audience something rather than telling them something.

Web 2 - Mark Goodwin
9.5"h x 7"w - 2011
rabbit skin glue, pigment, milk paint on paper

After viewing the work on his website I read his statement and found a kindred spirit.  

Raised in a place where representation was paramount for something to be labeled art, I found great excitement in non-objective work where a black square on a canvas was enough. Today, in my own work, I flirt with representation yet shy away from rendering a specific illusion. Working in different media, my process both guides and responds to the inherent nature of the materials. I paint, draw, erase, scratch, fold, rub, and cut. Through the merging of traditional and unorthodox methods, I make something happen.
My attraction to older cultures and vernacular art, has informed my travels, readings and work. Without mimicking these references, I search for a similar sense of synthesis where something complicated is distilled to a natural simplicity. This doesn’t always happen quickly. The Chinese scholar stones and written tablets that I saw in China in 1983 are obvious influences on my recent sculptures. The scratches on the steps leading to my house are less obvious influences.
In a time when people expect a translation of a visual work into a written statement like this, I am a strong proponent of the belief that visual art is its own language, a non-verbal form of communication. The best way to understand my work is to look at it.

Group of Sculptures - Mark Goodwin
Mixed Media - 2010
I hope you will enjoy the pieces I have selected for viewing and please jump on over to his website and tumber pages.

View 16 - Mark Goodwin
15"h x 16"w - 2011
hide glue, pigment, milk paint, acrylic medium, paper on canvas
stretched on canvas
I had a hard time selecting works to use in this post as there were so many I responded to so I encourage you to investigate further to enjoy more of his work.

Thanks you Mark for allowing me to share your work and your insight.

...and thank you for spending time
at Studio 24-7!
I love hearing from you and
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  1. Thanks for this post Terry. I too am drawn to Mark's aesthetic and I am interest to see him including milk paint in his media. I have been using it in various forms for about 5 years after searching for a new ground for my work. Also of interest to you, I am continuing my exploration of walnut ink. With fall here it is the perfect time to collect the walnut fruits for processing.

    1. Thank you Jane for commenting. I have not used milk paint but have been thinking of using another very matte type of paint for some of my work. I think Mark's use of materials is very interesting and successful. I have not made the walnut ink but have been buying it for use. It's wonderful! Have fun collecting them. They are a gift worth the time.

  2. "It's the idea of showing your audience something rather than telling them something."
    I like this statement a lot Terry. I feel a strong kindred spirit in Mark's work.

    1. Thanks Tom. I thought you might like this work and I'm delighted you responded to my comment. I also think it is more interesting when you don't show too much, leaving the viewer space for interpretation.

  3. Thank you so much for the introduction to this artist. Fascinating stuff - I shall doubtless return to it frequently.

  4. Yes thanks for the introduction. I will be spending time over at his site. I work with all natural materials and love milk paints as well as egg, glue, wax all of them really.

    1. Thank you Trace! Sounds like a great studio practice! Please come again.