Mark Karvon biography
From as early as I can remember, I have always was interested in the mechanical creations of man. There is something about a purpose of design and the engineering solution to achieve that purpose that always created a spark in my mind. The forms those machines took were captivating to me - the pointed nose of a fighter jet; the exposed driving wheels of a mighty steam engine, the streamlined shape of a submarine. And the stories of the incredible experiences of the men who operated those machines are the stuff of legends and sometimes nightmares.
From an early age I tried to express my fascination through drawing. I suppose my first serious drawing experience was a mechanical drawing class in the 7th grade. This was in the days before computer aided drawing became the standard. The tools of the draftsman were his pencil, the T-square or straight edge and angles. I learned about the basics of line work, the concepts of scale, the function of form and the workings of perspective through drafting studies in middle and high school.
I studied Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering at Purdue University. At this point in life I experienced some adversity which sent my life into a downward spiral. In an effort to change my life, I turned to God. I put my life in his hands. I began to live a spiritual life. I worked as a waiter and the little bit of money I made at that job enabled me to keep a little two room apartment above the storefronts in a small town. I had hope that my life would become better with reliance on God.
One day a man came into the restaurant for lunch. He was the famous marine artist, Charles Vickery. We developed a rapport and I shared some of my drawings with him. We soon became friends and I began to visit his studio on a regular basis. Our friendship developed into him teaching me about oil painting and it was at this time I decided to be an artist. We remained good friends until he passed away in 1998.
As my proficiency grew I was able to secure some paying work. Some of my early commissioned works include small illustrations for advertisements in a local newspaper and portrait work for friends and associates. Commercial work followed and from 1996 to 1997 I worked under commission for the Illinois Railway Museum creating original works depicting many of the locomotives in the museum's collection. My portfolio continued to grow through ongoing commissioned paintings, drawings and technical illustrations for industrial and commercial clients as well as private collectors. Still, I found traditional media to be very limiting.
Some years went by and I decided to explore the digital medium a little more in depth. What I discovered changed my artistic life. In 2006 I made the switch to the digital medium. These days, all my work is painted digitally. It is my passion to bring to life those machines that still fascinate me to this day. I am blurring the line between digital and traditional media. I want my paintings to speak to the viewer the feeling I get from these subjects. Hopefully some of that comes through.
It has been a long journey from those first steps to today. My work is collected and has been endorsed by veterans from World War II to the present day. I produce many pieces for commercial clients. My work hangs in museums, military bases, The Pentagon, schools, memorials and private collections worldwide. I am an artist member of the International Association of Astronomica Artists (IAAA).