Mary Mark

Inside Artists' Heads

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Mary Mark

MARY MARK's exuberant relief prints appear in museum and private collections around the country. Her work is currently on view in the national juried exhibition Art at the X through January 11 at Xavier University. Here are five things that motivate her:

Visual obsession. My eye, my heart and my brain have been preoccupied for decades by the manipulation of the linoleum block. Being immersed in the relief printing process reveals a quality of line that always creates an "aha" experience for me in the final work of art.

Journey. Relief printmaking is a technical trek. I carve the block in multiple stages and print layers of colored ink, controlling each step to create an image with artistic integrity. The journey itself inspires me — at 10 colors and two months, I hate it, but at 19 colors and four months, I'm ecstatic.

Color. I am motivated by saturated color in all its configurations, brilliant or subtle, finessed or full of contrast. I prefer colors that are pure, not whited out or grayed down. I am inspired by the emotions communicated by color arrangements.

The Random. Early morning fog steaming off the Ohio River. Sunlight bursting through the leaves of a tree. Shadows stretching across an overgrown field. Discombobulated caf´ chairs. The random cracks in a sidewalk.

Communication. The mostly unarticulated psychic communications with fellow artists fuel me. We digest our world through unusual portals, like a musical arrangement, a well-written sentence, a choreographed movement, a high-quality art exhibition or extended conversations with artist friends.

ARTICULATIONS offers five things important to one of Cincinnati´s visual artists.

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