Mark S. Holland
Mark   S. Holland

We are united by our sense of place - Nature is our commonality.

My work is representational because of my desire to understand my surroundings . . . whatever form that may take.

Everything that sustains us comes from Nature. And I want to know how I fit in with Nature . . . what is my place in Nature?

To make sense of self is to make sense of what we see. What is our response to what we see?

I grew up on the prairies of Illinois and the farm lands of Indiana. As a child Nature is where I went when I felt bad. It was a place I yearned for, a place that gave me peace. It was a place where I could learn. I wanted to understand what I was seeing. I did that by drawing what I saw. My drawings then and now give me a reference for what I see and a reference point for my position in Nature.

I want to know what I see. My way of knowing is to draw and paint what we all see and share. It's how I communicate with Nature . . . it's vital for me. In our fragmented, isolating, technology driven American culture it is very easy to live in one's head not experiencing our environment in an intimate way. Hence I have become more connected to that flower, tree, bird, leaf, animal, insect . . . that's my reality. I want to know how a bird flies, what is that plant? How does that leaf grow? What color is a piece of wood? How does a squirrel run through a tree? How does water move? How does a shadow define an object? These are timeless questions I ask myself.

So I give the viewer an opportunity to ask those questions by looking at my work. I want my work to be restful, peaceful, cheerful. I want to understand all things. This technology centered culture separates us from our true and only source . . . Nature. It is something we all share and it something we all return to. There is no hidden meaning in my work. Nothing for the viewer to figure out. I am sharing what we all need. It is our shared attachment to this planet and the living things in it.

To me Art is not mere decoration. It is a testimony and documentation of what we all see in our lives. All this is contrary to the prevailing culture of mass consumerism, kitsch, isolation, technology and abstraction.

I make my work not only for myself but for all so that together we can celebrate Nature and our existence in it.

"Art knows how to bring Beauty's forms,
Almost imperceptibly making life full,
Composing impressions, Composing the days."
- C. Cavafy