I knew I was an artist when I was young, because my imagination. And was drawing portraits at eleven, twelve and thirteen. I was born September 30, 1952 in New London Connecticut to a Navy family that lived in many different places. We moved to California in 1963. It was another new world for me. I attended junior and senior high in San Diego and then joined the Air Force to keep from being drafted into the Army. During that time, I found my imagination could help me through many things in life that are a drag.

I graduated from Southwester Jr. College in San Diego with an A.A. I then heard about the outstanding art department at Humboldt State University and transferred there in 1975. I graduated in 1980 with a B.A. in Visual arts, specializing in printmaking, and a Single Subject Teaching Credential. I taught art for one year at the Horizon Arts Outreach Program and taught for one year in The Humboldt County Juvenile Hall. The next year I began woodworking at the North Pacific Joinery.

After graduating from Humboldt State University, I was informed that I could no longer use their art studios. Together with two other print makers who had just received their MA’s from Humboldt State, and a few other artists, the Ink People art association was started and we purchased $7000 lithography press. The first few years, we had to flag down cards to get people to come in and see our art. Today there are over 500 members, with a waiting list to show art.

The dream of living simply in the mountains, while being creative and raising a family drew me to Honeydew, overlooking the King Mountain Range on the Lost Coast of California. I continued to paint at home and went into the Ink People Studio to do printmaking. I built the home where the two youngest were born. During this time, I had two art shows at the Ink People Gallery. I would talk to people about my art while I carried my infant in a backpack.

My art is definitely founded in nature with the abstractness of its eternal beauty and constant ability to change with its environment and circumstances. No matter what medium I seem to work with, my pieces are influenced by my surroundings, and life and all that is part of me. I like my work to trigger the viewer’s imagination, because it creates and inner action between the viewers; me, you, everyone. Drawing, water colors, etchings, lithography, sculpting in different mediums are my favorites, but like Dadaism, many things can be art. It is all part of the imagination and creativity.

As for my wood working, my process begins by choosing the woods, looking at their individual beauty, as well as the contrasting grains, colors, textures(knots) and edges. Then the combining of the woods needs thought and visual consideration. The end design results don’t always come right away, nor are they apparent.

Sizes of the benches are dependent on the grain size, density, color, and dimensions of the wood. Once my idea is clear, I start a layout. The visual process again determines the combinations of the wood; creating contrasts and compliments, the blending of varying colors and grains, and just letting the beauty of each wood show itself.

Mark Dube


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