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Mark Sellers

Abu Dhabi City - United Arab Emirates

Mark Sellers - Fine Artist

Mark Sellers

Member Since: 03/19/2009

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My collection is large and diverse. To find what you are looking for, it is better to start with my GALLERIES tab than to browse from the top and go page to page.

I don't put all my best pieces at the beginning of the galleries. I tried but the website always reorganizes them. You have to page through the galleries to find the gold.

I was married to a wonderful woman, Frieda Gosal-Sellers, until she died of cancer after an 11 year battle on 29 February 2012. I have three wonderful daughters and I am American, but I live and work in the United Arab Emirates as a university English teacher. In a way I am a kind of American export. I have been here since 1998 and before that I was working in Indonesia. My childhood in Minnesota as well as all my experiences in Africa and various Asian countries have greatly influenced my work.

My photographic collection has grown to outnumber my artwork. One of the benefits of being a teacher in the Middle East is the shorter distances to interesting places. Plus, part of our benefit package is to get tickets for an annual trip to our home countries or elsewhere, so we have been all over the place. I look for those artistic captures that would look good in my gallery. One of my favorite places for camera fodder is Singapore and Bali. My kids and wife have turned out to have a good photographer's eye as well and I have added some of their best shots. Most of the photographs in my gallery are from the USA (primarily North Atlantic states), Atlantic Canada, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and some European countries.

Though I am very happy with the gallery photograph collection, I am especially proud of my digital artwork. For my artwork, the drawing is the thing. Though some of my pieces are completely digital, most of my artwork is probably different in a number of ways from the artwork you are used to. Usually an artist starts with a prepared canvas and then proceeds to create a painting that fills up that space. My approach has to be a bit opposite of that. I start with a completed drawing, transform it digitally and then have to create a background to fit it.

My art is a bit of a hybrid since it is not completely digital. I have long had a hobby of making simple random pen drawings that I then paint with gel pens. Gel ink painting in my gallery are made from these quickly made spontaneous expressionist doodle drawing. Some of them turn out purely abstract while others end up looking like representations of something.

These spontaneous expressions are scanned, cleaned up, and then transformed and finished digitally. I use a number of software titles to create the effects. The effects of the programs become my paint brushes.

When you look at my gallery, consider that each item takes a minimum of 6 hours to make, usually takes more than 10 and some take more than 30. The drawings go through a range of transformation. Some of them are clearly still drawings. Others are transformed into something new such as metal sculptures. A very small number are morphed beyond recognition. You’ll notice my use of colors.

I tend to use very bright colors and often contrast them, even clash them sometimes. You’ll also notice that every piece seems to very different from the next.

Each piece is a challenge for me to do something different that I have not done yet. I make an effort to make each piece unique. The focus of each piece is the drawing and how I choose to interpret it. Since each drawing has a unique personality and a completely different interpretation, the end product is then going to look different from any other piece I’ve made. This inconsistency ends up showcasing my creatively in a powerful way.

Strangely, I'm an artist 'by accident'. I've always been generally very creative and imaginative, and visual art is something I've recently 'grown into'. I've always loved color. I have no favorite color -- I love them all. I've always doodled to maintain focus. My doodles quickly developed into extremely detailed drawings that have gotten a lot of attention. Some of my most interesting pieces are among those I made early on.

Digital art for me is a way of 'sharing' something interesting of myself that has developed naturally without any formal training.

You’ll notice a number of themes and characteristics that run throughout my collection of works. I love blues and vibrant colors. I also enjoy clashing colors together for effect. I use colors, shapes, and other elements to infuse my works with energy and to catch the eye. I like making the viewer wonder and think and interpret. I start by focusing on the original drawing and try to create a background to showcase and give further meaning to the drawing. When people ask me what category my artwork falls into I have difficulty answering. Many are abstract expressions since they are made from randomly and quickly made doodles that I then paint with inks. Others are purely abstract. Others such as Dreaming with the Fishes could fall under surrealism. In any case, I may have created a niche for myself.

Many people are surprised when I tell them that my artwork starts as what I call a doodle; a randomly and whimsically created line drawing in black, blue or red ink. They are small in that they are done on a memo book or notebook, or a once-folded piece of A4 paper. I have hundreds of these drawings now. From these many line drawings I select some for ‘painting’ if I see any potential in them. As I paint them, name them and then create a background on a computer, I go through an interpretive process where I attempt to further define and communicate what I see the image to be.

My paints are gel pens. They come in many different bright colors, the flow of ink is greater, and many of the pens come with minute pieces of glitter. Because of the size of the drawings, I have to paint them very carefully. I’ve tried to experiment with combining different colors and using colors on top of each other. Though I cannot mix colors to create new ones like an artist can with oils or acrylic, I can often get contrasting colors by not filling in completely with the first color or two and using following colors to fill in remaining white space, and draw color on top of color. My later drawings show more of these experiments than the earlier ones which tend to stick to one color for each portion that is filled in.

Besides the gel ink paintings, I have some works that are purely digital. Some are created from manipulated photos or fractals, some are fractals. I also enjoy photography and I have been finishing and adding to my gallery gleanings from the trips we have made over the years. Some are digitally treated.

After being ‘painted’ the drawings are scanned with a computer at 600 or 1200 dpi and cleaned up. The glitter becomes overlapping squares of bright contrasting colors. The smallest glitter particles give a metallic appearance to the ‘paint’. The pen marks become brush strokes and even finger-painting. The thicker ink takes on the appearance of textured paint. The paper wetted by the free flowing ink warps, distorts and wrinkles the paper providing a character that is extremely difficult to duplicate with regular artist paints.

Another way I use a drawing is as a template. Bicycle Wreck, Good earth, Lampion, Gordian Harp and the Battling Kites series are examples of this. Usually it is a drawing that has been filled in with one ink color. Then, rather than painting it and I use it to define the colors I add digitally. Surprisingly, these have been among my most popular pieces. Adding the color digitally doesn't make them less difficult to make. Battling Kites for example took me more than 30 hours to make because I worked on each kite individually.

I hope you enjoy my gallery and find a favorite. Enjoy and please share my gallery with others.


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Purely Abstract

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