Mark Nielsen’s paintings communicate his affinity with the complex subject matter of industrial and natural landscapes often entwined in various states of ruin. Mark is drawn to the empty quality of spaces left behind as the industrial era declines in New England. His work depicts a state of surprising beauty found in the aging materials of these buildings. The contrast in light and shadow captured in Mark’s paintings reveal the powerful and dramatic forms of the industrial age. He has been influenced by the lithographs and paintings of his grandfather, Richard F. Bartlett, who was in turn influenced by Edward Hopper and Rockwell Kent.
Mark began watercolor painting during a week’s vacation on Star Island NH, 2001. Since then he has held many shows and been represented by galleries in New Hampshire and in Connecticut. In 2008 his painting, "Above The Wall" was selected for exhibition in the 11th Biennial North American Open Show sponsored by the New England Watercolor society. In 2009 he received the Lois Macuga award for his painting "Holyoke Canal". He was featured in Upper Valley Life Magazine, May-June 2010 titled, The Accidental Artist. In 2010 his painting, "Bethel Grain Elevator" was selected for exhibition in the 12th Biennial North American Open Show sponsored by the New England Watercolor society.
He received "Best In Show" at the Vermont Watercolor Society 2010 Juried Summer Exhibition with his painting "Coastal".
Most Recently Mark was one of 13 Vermont artists to be selected to participate in a show titled Eyes On The Land.
He is also a Senior Design Architect at Peter Quinn Architects. His long-time interest in the arts led him to establish and direct “Oasis Studio”, an experimental after-hours studio in the North End from 1982 through 1989. His work in the studio often explored the crossover possibilities between architecture and the arts, including music.
In 2009 Mark founded Towle Hill Studio, a venue for artists to host weekend shows of their work. For a current schedule of shows go to www.towlehillstudio.com.
Light, shadow, color, sense of place, and constructed forms in nature are some of the common themes that Mark is exploring in both of his worlds.