About the Artist
In his early years, Mark Stephenson's creative pursuits focused on writing, drama, music, and public speaking, eventually leading to a Liberal Arts education at Colorado College where he received a BA in English with an emphasis on poetry and modern American Literature in 1979. During his senior spring break, he took a life-changing trip to Canyonlands National Park in Utah, where he was inspired to begin photographing the natural beauty surrounding him.
While working towards an MA in Radio, TV and Film at the University of Texas at Austin, he rediscovered his love for still photography, switched gears and enrolled at Brooks Institute of Photographic Arts and Sciences, the famously rigorous technical school in Santa Barbara, receiving his second BA (in Photography) in 1983.
In 1994 Mark moved from the art district of downtown Los Angeles to the small rural community of Sky Valley, California, where he lived and worked for 25 years. It was here that he began his journey to extend the luminosity of the photographic medium well beyond traditional capabilities. In 2019, he moved to the East San Francisco Bay, and continues to work at Sunny Knoll, his studio and home with Judy at the mouth of Bollinger Canyon, overlooking emerald green, oak studded hills.
Mark’s background in poetry, Eastern philosophies, and meditation, along with his technical training in photography, have all merged to create a totally unique and elegantly simple art form - a single blade of grass is amazingly transformed into a luminous channel of transparent golden light, or the limbs of an oak tree are moving and growing with depth and life.
Process driven and always experimenting, Mark uses texture paste, gesso, metallic leaf and ground aluminum to create one of a kind panels he prints his images on, sometimes finishing them with deep floods of epoxy resin.
The amazing luminosity and depth of these artworks supports and emphasizes the message that the transcendent, even ecstatic, nature of life exists everywhere, all the time, and is inherent in the common natural forms he photographs.
Artist Mark Stephenson collaborates with art consultancy firms and markets his work at the top fine arts festivals in the US.