"Tatanka's Thunder" - original oil painting
Mark Kortnik is an artist whose subjects range from dramatic wildlife to the rugged landscapes of the Pacific Northwest region in which he resides. Through the medium of oil painting, Mark is inspired to paint very naturalistic representations from nature. Mark's paintings in this series are about more than what the current vogue in art expresses with its highly stylized "less is more" or "minimalist" painting. The emphasis of that subjective approach illustrates the feeling the artist has towards the subject rather than what he objectively sees. Mark states, " I am not interested in painting primarily my feelings about the subject, but instead what I truly perceive as reality in nature with all its color and light, texture and detail."
Artistically creative at a very young age, Mark has dedicated years to developing his unique skill at oil painting. Early school instructors encouraged Mark to pursue his talent and Mark credits them with his development today. In 1977, after earning a Bachelor degree in fine arts from Sacramento State University, California, Mark met his artist wife Carol McLaughlin and moved to Joseph, Oregon. Together they opened the Wallowa Lake Gallery in 1989 and moved on years later to build their new Aspen Grove Gallery which they currently run today. Aspen Grove Gallery was one of the first galleries in Joseph in the early 1980's to open when the art boom hit there and is now after 26 years, the most established art gallery in the popular tourist destination of Joseph, OR.
Mark’s work has been featured in "U.S. Art" and "Inform Art" magazines for his combination of wildlife and petroglyph images in realistic compositions. He participated in the prestigious Western Masters Art Show in Great Falls, Montana for the past 17 years. Mark's paintings have earned many first place ribbons at various award shows. He received the 2011 People’s Choice ribbon and first place Judges Award for his original landscape oil entitled “Red Willow Winter”.
Currently Mark is producing paintings that portray the beautiful high lakes area of the Eagle Cap wilderness area in Northeast Oregon. Mark has hiked in and photographed the areas to use as reference for his studio paintings. Visitors to Joseph find these paintings a welcome sight towards a better appreciation of what this area has to offer them. In 2015 Joseph has the official state honor of being designated the first "art and cultural district" in Oregon.
You are invited to view Mark's paintings and meet the artist at his Aspen Grove Gallery, where you can also view works by his wife Carol and other artists. You can also view and arrange to buy limited edition reproductions of Mark and Carol's artwork at their website: aspengrovegallery.com