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About the Artist

Mark Turner is a 54 year old self-taught 'outsider' painter, working in abstract and representational genera. His hallmarks are texture, bright color and dimensional line elements. He has created over 440 original works since 2000. Over 330 are now displayed in the homes of others. He has been honored with multiple ribbons and awards since 2007; including two blue ribbons from the Havre de Grace Art Show; another from the Delaware City Canalfest (judged and awarded by Edward Loper Sr.); and most recently, a Judges Choice Award at the 2013 Ocean City, Maryland Arts Alive event. He exhibits primarily in summer art festivals since the unsolved theft of seven works from a public arts space.

As an 'outsider' artist, Turner doesn't interact with the larger visual arts community to any great extent. However, in opposition to what most classify as 'outsider' art, he creates more sophisticated works within the context and modalities of a modern urban setting. Each painting he produces is a problem solving experience for him regardless of style or technique. All his works are originals. He frames each piece in a minimalist manner and does not matte his work; believing the contents of the package more important than the package.

Turner uses acrylic paints and mediums, applying them to hand-cut coarse-sanded hardboard blanks. His two-coat gesso technique prepares a coarse-to-fine texture on the hardboard. He paints with brushes, styli, squeeze bottles, and the occasional digit. A hallmark technique is his line-in of sketches in black when he begins a work; resulting in a distinctive dimensionality on completion. He has recently incorporated the use of tiny iridescent and colored glass seed beads embedded directly in wet paint of many recent paintings. The beads texturize and modify the colors of the underlying paint in a pointillist style. This material addition honors those Venetian Renaissance painters who used scrap glass rather than other materials when they ground their own pigments.
His raised texture works are stylized representations of urban images or disappearing wildlife. Using stylus-manipulated, dimensional pearlescent, or iridescent gloss acrylic paints and some brushwork, he achieves significant dimensional and visual effects.

These works challenge the online viewer because of the difficulties in rendering low-relief, three-dimensional paintings. In addition, visual effects of these paints are lost when submitted as 2-D images (illusion of motion, changing depth perceptions and color shimmer all based on viewing perspective). Turner invites the public to arrange a studio tour in order to see these paintings in-person.

Turner's representational works incorporate impressionist and post-impressionist influences in his brushwork and color palette. These do not achieve as significant a textural element as those in his other works. However, at exhibitions, people remark on the perceptual dimensionality of these paintings citing his use of color, light, shadow and perspective. He has been told that his works which depict reflections and water are very effective in communicating their visual complexity.

Honors and Awards Include: Judges Choice Award - Fine Art Painting, Ocean City Arts Alive, Ocean City, Maryland, June 2013, 1st Place Havre de Grace Art Show 2013 - Painting, 1st Place Havre de Grace Art Show 2011 - Painting, 1st Place Havre de Grace Art Show 2010 - Painting, 1st Place Delaware City Canalfest 2009 - Fine Art Division

Turner received his M.S. in Physical Geography at Western Kentucky University, and his B.S. in Physical Geography at the University of Cincinnati. 


Mark Turner
Painting / Drawing
116 River Road
Wilmington, DE 19809
Phone:  302-563-1742
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Arts Services: Commissioned Work, Exhibits
Audience Served: Adult
Availability: Delaware (all 3 counties), Regional (throughout Mid-Atlantic region), Year-round

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