Being raised in a small town with six sets of aunts and uncles, thirty seven first cousins and six siblings, it was hard to get away with anything. Grandma’s house though, was a hub for fun and feeling loved. It was on her walls I first saw and really looked at original oil paintings, little did I know then what a roll oil painting would play in my life.
After High School and serving as a missionary for 25 months in beautiful New Zealand I started college, fell in love, got married, worked odd jobs and started a family. One job, working at a Sign Company, turned into a career choice as eventually I started my own Sign and Graphic Design business, left school and ran the business for seventeen years.
My response to the “l don’t have to be a sign guy my whole life” mid-life crisis was to sell the business and go back to school… sort of like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.
The BFA program required me to take three oil painting classes. Having heard how difficult oil painting can be, and, having convinced myself I would not be able to oil paint, I put these classes off till my last three semesters. I even devised a plan to talk the teacher into allowing me to do something else during the class, this did not happen. Soon I was painting along side my much younger classmates.
As it turned out, I did not mix muddy colors and I liked painting… a lot! After the second class I was receiving commissions to do portraits of professors and by the end of the third class I’d done six 48”x60” paintings of blue collar workers as a cohesive body of work for my thesis exhibition.
After graduation these painting became a significant portion of my portfolio as I applied to graduate schools.
Having been accepted to three great schools: The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia, BYU in Provo, and The Academy of Fine Art in Manhattan, I accepted PAFA’s invitation to come. I couldn’t resist all that American history in Philly.
As incredible as all this seems, the most amazing thing to me is how wonderfully supportive my dear wife Jeanette was as we left our adult sons, sold most of what we owned, including our home, and moved 2,400 miles with our seven year old daughter across country in search of a place to live as we chased this dream to earn a Master of Fine Art degree.
PAFA was fabulous, more than I ever would have imagined it could be. It knocked me on my backside, disrupted all my comfort zones and opened my eyes and mind to both see and struggle to comprehend concepts of art and painting previously unknown to me. The whole experience of living on the East coast sank deep into our lives and forever affected the way we think and our views of the world around us.
Upon graduation we moved to the quiet little town of Huntsville, Utah where I have established the Mark B. Goodson Studio/Gallery. I paint full time and teach two classes per week.
In painting still lifes I strive to render a sense of feeling for the personality of the items depicted, that the viewer might ‘know’ them, ‘relate’ to them. Still, it is in painting people that I find my greatest pleasure. I feel people are the most fascinating thing on the planet. Being able to capture the ‘real person’, to show personality, emotion and attitude is a gift I dearly appreciate. For example, in my painting, Swimming Lessons, one can see the honest emotions of children who are each off in their own worlds, the viewer feels they can literally read the children’s thoughts.
My paintings depict or represent things in a realistic manner but for me, the brush strokes must be visible – the hand of the artist must be evident.