Mark Wolak claims he has always been an artist. This statement goes far beyond Mark's focus of painting. Mark began drawing before he was ten, studied guitar and martial arts through high school, and made a short career as a musician in his 20's. Disillusionment with the music industry brought him full circle to rediscover the visual arts again. Mark began began drawing again years after he originally put down the pencil as a child.
As in martial arts, Mark found a methodical method of study which he now uses in his life as well as his artistic creative process. In martial arts the student begins with the simplest of movements, and cannot learn the next step until the previous is mastered. Mark devoted himself to drawing, for up to 16 hours a day, where he focused on each and every nuance of graphite. Under the tutelage of photo-realist Donald Gregory, who met Mark completely by chance in a hallway, he set upon mastering realistic images mostly of landscapes. The landscape has stuck with him even today. His abstract works, with floating color fields and energentic swaths or brushwork, remind on of the great Romantic Landscapes of Turner and the Hudson River School. Once Mark decided he "mastered" the techniques of drawing he moved on to painting.
Mark created a method of working which is uniquely his own. Mark makes each and every canvas unique. He rarely repeats himself. His canvases are each unique in size. This nuance gives each work its own character and helps Mark to create individual statements each time he works. His unique method involves painting "wet on wet", which means he never allows the painting to dry while he is working. He rarely uses brushes. He prefers to use found objects, sticks, and other "tools" to get the desired effect.