Mark Skullerud

Oil paintings

Access Road

I greet every morning looking out on the mystic Olympic Mountains. Since moving to Puget Sound’s Whidbey Island in 2008, exposure to an ever-changing mix of light and monumental geography altered the path of my work from strong colors in abstract landscapes to the subtle color and shadow that atmosphere creates. Like a quixotic actor, the Olympics change wardrobe hour by hour.

I didn’t always paint mountains. My first job as a professional artist began in 1978 as an architectural illustrator for Walter Dorwin Teague, a national firm doing interior/exterior and industrial design for Boeing jets. Four years later I opened the Skullerud Studio and applied the photo realistic style of painting I learned at Teague to residential architecture, landscapes, and the depiction of things that did not exist – science fiction.

My focus turned further from the literal in the late 1980’s to include surrealism and its examination of the character of human existence found in myth and dream imagery. In the early 1990’s California and French impressionist paintings caught my attention by virtue of the artist’s vitality, a feature that wasn’t intrinsic to the landscape. Later in the nineties, I ventured into abstraction and severed all connections to the literal world. By the 2010’s my work came round again to a more representational approach using mountains to show off the dynamic light and shadow over Puget Sound.

I paint landscapes in three mediums: oil, acrylic and gouache.

In 35 years I have received over 40 awards in curated and non-curated shows, including nine Best of Show awards. In 2009 a painting titled, Homestead, won First Place at the 50th Edmonds Arts Festival. In 2011 I received a Best of Show award and a Best Professional award at the Island County Fair Art Show.