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Featured Artist: Mark Rosser

June 17, 2014

This week we spoke with artist Mark Rosser. See what he has to say below.

TOAF: What do you do? (In art, life, work, free time) 

Mark: I’m a painter working in landscape and abstract. I am comfortable painting in several mediums, but my choice is transparent watercolour. There is a marvelous luminous quality to it which is unrivalled in my opinion.

My subjects often focus on the reflective qualities of water, and the new direction in my work pushes more towards the abstract. My pure abstract pieces exploit the medium to the full, combining heavily distressed paper with free flowing washes, and lightly varnished – I think of it as the fusion of sculpture and watercolour, always inspired by the qualities of water.

Hiking the BruceTrail and camping in Northern Ontario are among my favorite past times. It seems once you develop an artistic eye, these wilderness outings quickly transform into reference gathering for new paintings. I recall my father took us to KillbearPark every summer for a 2 week holiday. I now have my own family and my 2 children are adults, in fact I have enlisted their assistance for the exhibit.

I have worked in commercial art and design supporting my young family, but in 2006 I started my own full-time business and have never looked back. To work at what you love to do is a rare thing, and I am grateful to be this position. 

TOAF: Which artists inspire your work?

Mark: Contemporary artist Nita Engle’s watercolours never cease to amaze and inspire me, with her balance of technique with colour and composition - a master over the challenging medium. I am also inspired by the watercolours of John Singer Sargent, whose drawing remain fresh and expressive, shining through the work.

TOAF: If you could collaborate with anyone in the world, who would it be? 

Mark: Wow, this is a tough one for me, since there are such a wide variety of people that I admire. I hold in high regard any artist who can expressively, realistically portray the human form, particularly facial expression in portraiture. I would collaborate with contemporary artist Daniel F. Gerhartz for this reason.

TOAF: What is the most challenging struggle with your work or creative process? 

Mark: I tend to have many interests as most creative people, so my challenge relates to discipline in working, staying focused producing on days when I may not be totally in the zone. Basically what differentiates a professional artist.  It’s important to balance all parts of your life with painting,andstriking that balance between family and work is the key for me.

TOAF: What is the most rewarding part of your work or creative process?

Mark: It has to be when someone connects with my finished work. It’s a reward in itself when an artist’ work is appreciated, anyones for that matter, but I feel this support of creative vision and choices we make as artists is an instrumental part of our process and continued success. No doubt this will help make my first year in TOAF an especially rewarding and encouraging experience, hopefully the first of many more to come. I also look forward to meeting the other artists in the exhibit.

TOAF: Tell us something interesting or quirky about yourself.

Mark: I make a killer Cabernet Sauvignon from fresh California grapes and mature it in an oak barrel. There is a waiting list for next years vintage.

TOAF: Where can we see your work?

Mark: I recently organized and launched my new website:

Check out Mark Rosser in booth B34 at Nathan Phillips Square, July 4-6 during the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair.

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