Inside the Studio

Mark Posey

What is your medium?
For many years I was working exclusively with oil paint. I come from a very traditional school that focused on traditional oil paintings. Recently however, I have switched to Acrylics. I feel that acrylic paint is more suited for capturing my energy and emotion because it forces me to be much more impulsive with my color and composition.

Yup. I have always had a natural affinity for design of all sorts. This includes, clothes, walls, canvases, skin, etc… Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that tattoos are right for everyone, but I think tattoos make sense for me.

Why do you make art?
I’m a pretty passive person ordinarily, and art allows me to let go and be myself in a way that I normally can’t.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Make genuine art. I think if something comes naturally to you, people are naturally going to be interested in what your doing. People want to see art (in all its forms) because art allows us to step into this minds of others and tap into emotions and experiences that we wouldn’t ordinarily get the opportunity to have. I personally would much rather look at someone’s painting than have a conversation with them. I think that your art says more about you than your words ever can, even if you make disingenuous art.

Everyone has a vice. Care to call yourself out?
Sure, I’ve have gotten really good at self-sabotage, and drinking diet mountain dew.

Favorite cuss word?
Jeez Louise

Most important tools you use?
Mistakes, for sure.

Where is your studio?
My studio is in North Beach, San Francisco

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
Both are actually really important for me.  A lot of the time it depends on what stage my painting is in. The initial stages I like to listen to really aggressive music, which helps me stay loose. As the painting progresses, I begin to like calmer music or silence at times to help me focus on the final color choices or compositional elements that need to be added.

iTunes or records?

What’s around the corner from your place?
Crackheads, needles, shit, and a pretty descent bar.

A piece of art you love?
Matisse’s Red Studio is definitely up there.

Favorite contemporary artist?
Oh jeez, um, Chuck Close?

Art School or Self-taught?
Academy of Art University, San Francisco. I learned more there then I ever thought possible.

What do you collect?
I keep almost all of my paintings that I consider to be failures in hopes that one day I will finally see some beauty in them. That hasn’t happened yet.

Which living or dead artist would you most like to meet?
Vincent Van Gogh, hands down.

Food or Sleep?
Food is a burden, I wish I never had to eat.

Photo references?
Sometimes. One thing that my paintings depend on are shifts in my process. When I use photo references for too long, my paintings lose spontaneity because I get too comfortable. When that happens I switch my process to purely imaginative paintings, and when my creativity burns out, I switch back, applying the new techniques I have learned. It allows me to constantly be upping my game by stepping out of my comfort zone.

How cleanly do you work?
I strive for a high degree of professionalism within my work. This starts with a clean workspace, everything I need has to be in its proper place before I begin painting. Having respect for my process allows me to have a greater overall respect for my work.

Mottos or catchphrases?
Balls to the wall.

Traditional or Conceptual?
I have always taken interest in approaching familiar ideas in new and unfamiliar ways. A majority of my poses and compositions are very traditional, but they are executed in a very contemporary way. I think it’s important to borrow and expand on traditional concepts, but to continue with strict adherence to them is not something I am interested in right now.

Religion or Pop Culture?
I couldn’t care less about either.

Is painting dead?