The Art and Inspiration of Mark de Mos

Dixon’s Falls near Boonton Township in New Jersey

Mark de Mos has never been a musician, but he says, “I think of music like painting, using color, texture, and a sense of movement. I am aware of developing a painting rhythm, working fast with large variegated washes and gravity to create underpaintings that move.”

He is always searching for new inspirations from art of the past and present, as well as from other media. His primary goal is unity, although he works in different styles that are influenced by he subject, sometimes oils, but mostly pastels and watercolors.

“I always work loose,” he says, “to avoid a static feeling.”

In fact, Deborah Secor wrote in Watercolor Magic, “He achieves a painterly realism with his loosely defined interiors and landscapes.”

Mark de Mos explains, “When I start a work, I don’t know exactly how it will turn out. If I allow it to be a little bit messy early on, letting the paint go outside the borders rather than using a lot of descriptive details to start, it keeps things looser. I try different colors to get the basic idea going, but how it turns out is fun to see. It’s an adventure.”

Wrote Secor, “He finds that subjects that are less detailed don’t need much planning. In reality, he doesn’t even fret over objects that ordinarily require a bit more care to get right, such as walls, windows, tables or chairs. ‘I have one basic rule about perspective,’ he says. ‘Things that are closer to you are bigger. Sometimes what’s right looks really wrong. Distinguished watercolor artist Robert Sakson said it best – it doesn’t have to be right; it just has to look right.’”

Mark de Mos began working in pen and ink and etching, then moved on to watercolor. His break came with the painting of “New York Fashions,” and since then, he has become a member of several regional watercolor societies.

He points out, “I have developed a personal style that takes advantage of a watercolor’s natural qualities by using water and sedimentary colors. I tilt the paper to let the movement of water take the pigment across the paper. My compositions make use of bounced light, large integrated washes, sedimentary colors, and textural awareness.”

His favorite motifs are cityscapes and interiors but says, “I find inspiration everywhere.”

Mark de Mos saw his standing in the art world greatly enhanced by the decision to include his paintings in volumes eight and nine of the “Splash” book series.  He and his work were later chosen to be showcased in the “Splash” book on “iconic artists” of America.

He says of his painting, Dixon’s Falls, “A farm near Boonton Township in New Jersey has a little pond in front of a farmhouse and red barns. At the edge of the pond, a small waterfall tumbles into a narrow and shallow brook. To me, the scene and the painting reflect a feeling of tranquility and peace during the quiet solitude of autumn.”

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