A native of Illinois, Mark Schwartz began his professional life as a graphic designer and art director in St. Louis, Missouri, and later moved to Southern California to further his design career. Although Mark's career was successful, he wanted to pursue work of a more personally fulfilling nature.
To reach these new goals Mark first attended life drawing classes at Associates in Art in Sherman Oaks, California. He later studied at the California Art Institute in Westlake Village, California, where he received extensive training in drawing and painting the human figure from life. While studying with famed illustrator Glen Orbik, he was exposed to a new way of seeing in terms of shape, value, and edge. After two years of study at the California Art Institute, he was invited to become an instructor and taught there until the school closed in late 2014.
Mark has a great appreciation for realist artwork. He likes the challenge of combining accurate drawing and expressive brushwork. He has studied and been influenced by painters from John Singer Sargent, to Anders Zorn, to Nicolai Fechin. Their influence on his work can be seen ranging from subtle color harmonies to a variety of thick and thin paint application.