In the Studio: The Process of a Painting with Mark Schoening

Mark Schoening (NAP #97) is a contemporary LA-based artist who creates large-scale, detail-packed, process-heavy paintings. His work has evolved over time, moving from similarly detailed black and white mixed media canvases to these bright, geometrically based, perfectly balanced, and meticulously finished matte pieces.

In discussing his process, Schoening recalled that when he was living in Boston, he would regularly go to the MFA Boston to see a work of Franz Kline.  He loved the work from afar, but when he got closer, the image lost something for him.  With that as inspiration for an aspiration to improve, Schoening set out to create pieces that speak as much from afar as they do up close.  He uses processes-upon-processes (including but not limited to stenciling, silkscreening, and precise masking and measuring) to build upon and pack details into every nook and cranny of his works. Seeing them and experiencing them is a moment in itself.

Because New American Paintings is all about the visual, we thought it would be fitting to look at Schoening’s process through images themselves. - Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

Completed painting: Mark Schoening, "InFormation," acrylic, latex, ink, silk screen, and spray paint on canvas 60"x72" 2012.

Here is a short 11-image documentation of Shoening’s 2012 painting "InFormation.”

First stage of the underpainting

Stencil application

Masking and stenciling

Adding fractured line work with stencil and mask

Appearance of painting after stencil is applied

More masking and stenciling of stencils post paint

Small collection of screens used in painting

Making decision of what area to continue into (decisions made easier in this hideous homemade christmas sweater)

Finished piece under the light ready to be photographed.

Completed painting: Mark Schoening, "InFormation," acrylic, latex, ink, silk screen, and spray paint on canvas 60"x72" 2012.

Mark Schoening, "InFormation," DETAIL.

The process of each work takes months and if you want to see more of his process and progress, he captures much of this on his tumblr blog and Vimeo account in such videos as “Mark Schoening: In the Studio” shown below.

[vimeo w=530&h=298]


Mark Schoening received his BFA in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.  Schoening has upcoming local and international shows including: “Louder than Bombs” at The Platform Gallery from 6/21-7/28 in Seattle, WA; "Lightning Strikes Twice" at Circuit 12 Contemporary in Dallas TX from 6/21-7/31; and Art Copenhagen at Gallery B15 in Copenhagen from 9/14-9/16.

Ellen C. Caldwell is an LA-based art historian, editor, and writer.

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