On August 15, in the heat of the 100° plus afternoon, I stepped over right next door to visit with Mark Malone in his painting studio at Studio Art & Soul.
Mark Malone at his easel.
HC: I always love the smell of a painters’ studio, the oils and acrylics, the paint thinners, and the hints of fresh canvas and wood stretchers. Thanks for having me over today. So how do you prepare yourself to have someone in the studio asking questions and taking pictures?
MM: I started out painting with this group of people at the Creative Arts Center, and I would paint at home in an upstairs room that I had prepared as a studio. Eventually our teacher left the Creative Arts Center and the artists in our group decided to get our own studio space. And now I can’t paint at home, I just can’t do it, there’s too many distractions – the laundry buzzer goes off, the doorbell rings – just too much commotion. I come here to paint, and there may or may not be other painters here. But I love the company. We all feed off each other. We can critique and get valuable insight from each other, and I think it has helped us all to be better artists.
HC: How many painters share this studio?
MM: There are eight of us right now.
HC: It seems like this place isn’t necessarily air conditioned?
MM: It is. It may not feel like it…(laughs)
HC: I dressed cool…with the fans it feels OK
MM: [The a/c and the space] is not designed for even moderate heat so these 100° plus days are hard. The blower is just not powerful enough to push the air through the studio. I’m probably in the hottest space in the studio but we keep the shades closed. It’ll be better in a couple of more months if we can just sweat it out.
Aspen Series III, oil on canvas, 48" x 72"
HC: So when will you start showing with the gallery in Santa Fe and what is the name of it?
MM: It is One Artist Road Fine Art. I am going out there this weekend. I’ve sent them three paintings, and they are out there being framed, and they said they will be delivered before this weekend when I get there. So they may be hung while I am out there.
I’m also showing at a local art gallery here in Dallas named Dutch Art Gallery. There is going to be a juried show of Texas artists there in November and I will have three pieces in that show.
Navajo Daydreams, oil on canvas, each 16" x 20"
HC: Have you completed the commission for the downtown Dallas hotel project?
MM: yes, they are delivered and paid for.
HC: How many pieces were there?
HC: When does that hotel open?
MM: Late November, I think.
HC: What do you have coming up next?
MM: I’m headed to New Mexico, we’re going to stay for ten days in Angel Fire, me and my partner, and we’re going to stay with my first art instructor, Kathleen Dello Stritto. She and my partner are going to the symphony, they’re going to attend three, and that’s not my cup of tea so I’m going to have to find something to do. (laughs) Maybe I’ll go to Santa Fe for a couple of days. But it’ll be nice to get out of the heat. Short term, before I leave, I want to have a piece ready to replace any work that should it sell at the new gallery I can have one ready to ship to them. I’m hoping people will like my work in Santa Fe.
HC: Well OK. Thank you for your time today and have a great trip out to New Mexico.
Descending Koi, on left
New Koi, on right
oil on canvas, both are 48" x 24"