When I was recently out in the Los Angeles area I had to the chance to see one of my dear friends, artist Mark Strickland. Mark is the second person responsible for me becoming a painter, the first is my husband through his love and support. We first met Mark in the 90’s when he was teaching at The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. My husband is a graduate of Art Center and we wanted to get back into painting and enrolled in Mark’s evening class, painting oils from life. I also took life drawing with Mark. I had never met an instructor who had his class draw the nude model with a bottle of ink and a crow quill pen! It was a fantastic experience. Those years studying painting at Art Center, we became good friends with Mark and his wife.
I see Mark not only as an artist but a conduit or channel, if you will, of portraying the human condition. His inspiration comes from those that have not had an easy time of life: cancer survivors, homeless people, and war veterans. His work is not meant to be gentle but conveys struggle, and deep emotion.
Mark has exhibited internationally and has had the lifetime opportunity to be a part of two extraordinaryart installations. In 2008 his work was featured in an exhibit “Children of Dachau,” commemorating the children who died at theDachau concentration camp, in Flossenberg, Germany. And recently he was part of an event at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, commemorating “Kristallnacht,” also referred to as the Night of the Broken Glass, with music by movie and television composer Misha Segal. You can click here to see a video of highlights from this event.