Mark Gibson is a native Montanan, born in Helena and raised in Missoula. He received his first set of oils from his mother when he was only 12 years old.
Mark attended Montana State University on a scholarship and studied architecture. He also took classes on figure drawing and later studied watercolor with Hazel Foley for many years until he switched to oil painting in 1998.
Gibson’s studies in architecture have had a direct influence on the path of his work. His teepees are themselves an architectural form. He critically analyzes his own paintings from an architectural perspective, focusing on creating a strong sense of composition with harmonious perspective and horizon line.
Gibson’s in-depth study of watercolor has directly influenced the way he handles oil paint; the more glazes that he adds to each composition, the more dynamic and realistic the outcome. The artist spends his energy on each individual piece, carefully building up transparent washes until he achieves the rich, compelling tones he desires.
Mark is a strong believer in peer critiques and in learning from other artists’ work. Living and working near the lively art community in Missoula has contributed to the ongoing conversation that Mark enjoys with other painters such as Brent Cotton and Brian Schweine.
Gibson has been pushing himself to focus on purity of color and masterful composition, working to move the viewer’s eye around the entire piece. Most recently, he has been working on increasing the scale of his works, which has contributed to his achievement of creating a powerful mood and atmosphere in each painting.
Gibson’s subject matter chiefly reflects the western lifestyle Mark enjoys. He is an avid fly fisherman and spends many weeks a year packing mules and horses. Exploring Montana’s backcountry is one of Mark’s favorite pastimes. Mark currently lives in Lolo Montana with his wife Lisa, daughter Josie and son Cal.