I am interested in deep structures implicit in earth's creation--distruction, change and renewal. In the Sedimentary Series, Terra and the Sediments & Circles pieces I have explored the earth, seas, and atmosphere, especially the depletion of the earth through drought and flooding. In these works the pigmentation of the ground may refer to tonalities of clay or earth found particularly in areas of the world where the eosystem has become exhausted.
In my encaustic process layers of natural beeswax and pigment are built up. On this terrain I engrave rhythmic line and patterns of grasses, water or wind flow. Graphite or other sediment is applied in solution, wiped off as on a printing plate, then "burned in" until the expressive potential is revealed. This process, like the depositing of sediments on earth's surface and resulting incorporation through water and heat, is both systematic and impacted by natural processes.
My creative process and media have become metaphors for my personal connection to loss and healing implicit in Nature's materials and cycles. In reducing my work to the elements of color, line, sedimentary depost and heat I honor the materiality, the process, the natural laws underlying the formation of our world.
Artist Bio / CV
Mari Marks (Mari Marks Fleming) created her first encaustic painting in 1992 while studying with Elisabeth Murray at California State Universities Summer Arts program. Markswas awarded a BFA with Highest honors from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana (1954), and an M.A. in Art Therapy from George Washington University (1975).
Marks encaustic paintings have been exhibited in invitational and juried exhibitions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally. Solo shows include: Ispace, the Gallery of the University of Illinois, Champain/Urbana, Chicago (2007); Art-Scape Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA (2007); Wiegand Gallery, Notre Dame deNamur University, Belmont, CA (2006); Flatbed Gallery, Austin, TX (2001); Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2000); Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley, CA (1999)--together with a 1 year Residency; Matrix Gallery, Sacramento, Ca (1999); Bade Museum, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA (1995); Ariel Gallery at Tula, Atlanta, GA (1993).
Group exhibitions include Hot Stuff at the First National Annual Conference of Encaustic Painting, (2007); Montserrat College of Art, MA; Impulse, National Encaustic Show, (2006) Portland, OR; The Whole Ball of Wax (2003), Women Made Gallery, Chicago, IL; Europ; Art, 10th Anniversary, Geneva, Switzerland; Encaustic Artists '99 (1999) R&F Paints, Kingston, NY.
Marks encaustic paintings are in public and private collections including those of the State of California, the California State Public Health Building, Richmond, CA; Alameda County, Oakland, CA; Highland Hospital, Oakland, CA; the collection of actess Halle Berry; Alzo Pharmaceuticals, Mountain View, CA; Hewlitt Packard, Mountain View, CA; Hilton Hotel, Sappora, Japan; the Cerulean Tower Tokyo Hotel, Tokyo, and the Ana Clement Hotel, Takametsu City, Japan. Her work is included in the primary text of encaustic painting, Joanne Mattera's Encaustic Painting: Congemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax (2001), Watson Guptill Publications.