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When Mark was young, he would come home from school to find his mother working on a painting in one room while preparing her latest dinner creation in the kitchen. The house would be filled with the aromas of art materials intermingled with fine seasonings — turpentine, linseed oil, and food! Of course, this now sounds absurd – if not dangerous – to artists aware of concerns about contemporary commercial art supplies. But, as Mark says “back then, gum turpentine had a sweet smell, not a noxious chemical smell.”

Today, Mark paints in a style that recalls his early experiences of creative cooking and free flowing painting, but without the turpentine. He loves to work with “chunks of paint”. “I tend to mix some walnut oil and balsam in with the spike oil and it gives a permanency and finish that I favor. Others may enjoy trying some other oils – it’s a matter of personal preference. Oil of Spike is an expensive medium yet yields some wonderful results – and it’s pleasant to work with!”

Many artists use Oil of Spike Lavender for enhancement in high detail and glazing. However, Mark uses Spike Oil to free up his brush strokes. As the result of the beauty of his unique style, he has been accepted into the Salmagundi Club, and is featured on the cover of this month’s ink magazine. Mark paints quickly and with great intensity, thick, but not opaque. Transparent.

“I want to feel free with paint and don’t want to be constrained with convention.  Why not throw it, sling it, splash it?” Sounds like creative cuisine – and fine art!