Mark Fehlman

12 x 16 Oil – $1200.00

The famous religious painter Carl Bloch was said to have dipped his paintbrush in his heart. As an artist, I relate to that statement because painting for me is a way to turn myself inside out and share what is there on canvas. Sometimes I see things that are so painfully beautiful that I can find no adequate words to describe them. My art has become a spiritual language where I can express myself without speaking. And hopefully those who view my paintings will feel what I am trying to say with no words passing between us. I have found that it is through visual imagery that I can best reveal my passions.

As an artist I am more interested in painting my emotional reaction to a subject than in creating a photorealistic rendering of it; consequently my paintings lean more to impressionism than realism. I tend to work in an abbreviated style where the suggestion is more important than the completed statement, and where the parts or details are sacrificed for the good of the whole. I’ve learned that the less I give away in my paintings, the more people seem to read in them.  To me, there is more poetry in an image when not every detail is spelled out and the viewer is allowed to solve some of the mystery.

I love to capture the abstract patterns of light and shadow in the subject as, paradoxically, I find this creates a more realistic image when viewed from a short distance. I generally paint things that I am close to, both in distance and in feeling. I am not about depicting vast expanses of nature, but rather of close, intimate corners of personal spaces. Any subject is game for my brush as long as it is beautifully lit. In truth, light is always the subject I find most exciting, as anything it touches is enhanced in depth, dimension, vibrance, and beauty. This is the spiritual implication art has for me.

I consider it the greatest of privileges to be an artist–to notice the grandeur in small things around me, to celebrate them on paper or canvas, and to share my passion for life though my artwork. 

I love to paint from the life that surrounds me. I paint in an impressionistic style, marked by energetic brushwork, and use thick and thin layers of paint, patterns of light and dark, and a rich palette of colors to capture the moment.

For 30 years, I practiced as a successful Architect, with half of those years were as a partner with Fehlman LaBarre Architects. Thanks to my business partner, Mike LaBarre, I was able to leave architecture and pursue my passion, in a second career, as a fine artist.

My artistic career started in my youth, as a well known fiber artist. Throughout high school and into college, I had sucessful shows in Laguna Beach, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Then architecture took over.

When I began to pursue painting, I sought out the best teachers. Each has been a tremendous inspiration to me. They include Lela Harty, John Asaro, Ray Roberts, Brian Blood, Robert Goldman, Ron Hicks, Mark Daley, Clayton Beck, Kim English, and Jeff Watts. I have been painting for about 11 years, and have now made it my career.

I paint full time in my studio at my home in the Mission Hills District of San Diego, and travel extensively to capture images throughout the world.

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