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Mark Allison
Mark Allison is a fine artist, designer, en plein air painter, illustrator, workshop & private instructor, and an award-winning teacher at Linn-Benton Community College in Corvallis, Oregon. He started teaching drawing, painting, color & design, figure drawing and painting, and art history in the early 80's. He has studied design, drawing and painting, and en plein air painting with Len Chmiel, Kevin MacPherson, Stephen Quiller, Dale Laitinen, Miles Batt, Michael Schlicting, Jean LeGassick, Pat Deadman, Camille Przewodek, Joe Anino, and many others.

Mark's styles of painting have evolved from his exploration of art historical styles like cubism, abstract expressionism, impressionism (and its current form: en plein air), and traditional realism. "I've been told by a number of galleries that my work is difficult to categorize and they usually choose artists who have a single consistent style because it's easier to present and sell. However, I will not cease my stylistic explorations in order to make my work more 'consistent' and sellable. Consistency is too static for me, and I feel that it would compromise my artistic integrity to force myself to work in one style. Picasso is my role model for stylistic exploration. As I recall, he did OK in sales, too."

Mark earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Santa Clara University (1970), and though he passed the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) and was accepted to Creighton University Medical school, he instead applied for a job, and was hired as a Medical Illustrator for a 1500 bed, research hospital -- Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in Downey, CA. After a few years in the medical environment he expanded his skills by taking courses in illustration and graphic design from Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, CA, and West Valley Occupational Center in Woodland Hills, CA. He worked as a designer for Graphica, in Canoga Park, CA, designing and installing supergraphics in the Los Angeles and San Diego area, eventually becoming a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. In the early 80's, Mark started teaching drawing, painting, and design. In 1988 he began teaching for Lassen Community College (Bishop, CA). In 1994 he began teaching for Linn Benton Community College in Corvallis, Oregon. He continues teaching today and his classes are very popular and well attended. He teaches a weekly, summer-long en plein air workshop, and in September an en plein air worksop in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon.

A few of his favorite quotes:

"The science of design is the source and essence of painting, sculpture, architecture. Sometimes it seems to me that all the works of the human brain and hand are either design itself or a branch of that art." -- Michelangelo (In this quote, Michelangelo calls design a science, and art, incorporating both the left-brain and right-brain modes.)

Georgia O'Keefe: "SEE = Simplify, Eliminate, Emphasize."

Charles Hawthorne: "Be a student always. No formulas. Search constantly. Don't learn how, but learn to keep inquiring how."

Oscar Wilde: "The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible."

Albert Einstein: "If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."

W.H. Auden: "You owe it to the rest of us to get on with what you're good at."

Samuel Beckett: "Dance first. Think later. It's the natural order."