Mark Granland, landscape and still life artist, frames questions and connections, blending symbolism, whimsy and academic depth in a well-developed fine art style.
Granlund's landscape painting flows from his sustained love of, and respect for, the geography and ecology of Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Seeing Nature as a whole system requires engaging all senses to capture and express the authenticity of a complex eco-system. In his paintings, Mark builds detail, texture and layers using washes, fields of color, impasto strokes, glazing and scumbling, to bring light, textures and motion to the canvas.
"At the end of a hectic workday, it's nice to come home to the family cabin, a place of rest and rejuvenation. It's right there on the wall! I can practically feel the warmth of the sun, smell the pine trees, and hear the hermit thrush. Mark's painting captures the place, and evokes generations of memories." - Dan Peterson
Granlund's abiding love of lakes and woods is rooted in his early years. His paintings pass on his delight in play and discovery, fostered early in his life while living in Northern New Jersey on a lot with 100 trees to play amongst. His father chose family recreation sites near Seven Lakes in southern New York State, rather than heading East, to the Jersey Shore. His father's fondness for lakes grew during early childhood when his parents immigrated from Finland to America, settling in Northern Minnesota. A passion for trees and lakes was further reinforced during annual visits with his maternal Grandparents, who always lived on lakes in Central and Northern Minnesota. His family's close proximity to forests and lakes is a strong inspiration for Mark's detail-infused landscape paintings.
Landscape commissions are an important part of Mark's work, which he limits to a few, annually. Each project must include time spent on location, and in meditative solitude, to achieve the detail and nuance defining a Granlund painting.
As the viewer pauses before the landscape on canvas, a perceptive eye finds another layer, another moment.
As Granlund creates a Still Life, he perceptively links scattered moments. Each item is more than an image. It is a thread between moments lived next to the same object, lifetimes apart.
" ...It is my goal to uncover the meaning of objects beyond their practical use."
- Artist Statement, 2022
Mark's still life art asks intriguing questions, and then hints at more questions.
"My still life paintings are an observation of what it means to be American. Several are a meditation of eating habits as expressed by the container of food scraps next to my kitchen sink. ...I also have taken Cezanne compositions and adapted them to be 'American' by adding and removing objects and generally playing around with the question: What is an American still life?"
- Artist statement, 2022
Grounded in respect for Nature, Granlund prioritizes working with eco-friendly materials: eco-sensitive paints and finishing products, organic cotton or linen, and is currently surveying sustainable lumber sources.
In a Maker's space in his creative studio, Mark is set up to efficiently produce canvases, cradled panels and frames of fine quality. He can fabricate custom and large size frames needed for commissions and his own art works.
Mark Granlund received a Masters of Fine Arts degree in painting and drawing from The City University of New York at Brooklyn College.
He is represented in 2 regional galleries: Everett and Charlie Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Yellow Bird Gallery in Grand Marais, Minnesota. He has exhibited regularly for 30 years, being awarded high honors.
Granlund has employed in art education and administration as a lifelong career, teaching, advising and stewarding arts communities and public art collections.
Other than painting, writing and gardening, Granlund is the Public Art Administrator for Metro Transit in the Twin CIties and an occasional caretaker of an island on the U.S./Canadian border for the Ernest C. Oberholtzer Foundation.
Proceeds from the sales of my landscapes support environmental causes in Minnesota.
For those interested in such things, you can view Granlund's resume here.
Down in the Valleys, Agate Magazine - September 2023
Talking with Artist Mark Granlund, Of Ink and Insight Podcast - June 2023
Mark Granlund: An Artist Grounded in Nature, Southwest Connector, Minneapolis - April 2023
Conversations with Mark Granlund, Voyage Minnesota Magazine - February 2023
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