Photographer Aaron Siskind once said, “You look and look and look, and suddenly you get exhilarated because you're not only able to see—but you have the feeling you're discovering these things—that no one else even pays attention to …"
Painter and photographer Mark Eanes can relate. Traveling through Europe as a young artist fueled his passion for art, which led to a big influence in his studio practice. “As a painter, I've always enjoyed looking at the world in all its richness and complexity … then giving expression to those glimpses. However, in recent years I have turned to photography as well, to exercise and strengthen another muscle for seeing. To capture a specific moment in time that no one else sees, or will ever see, is rewarding beyond words. Whenever I travel with the camera, I feel alert, awake, and aware of all that is before me,” Eanes said.
More recent travels, especially in southern Italy, reinforced Eanes’ view on layering his mixed media pieces. The “historic walls, doors and portals, aged through time,” with their layers of depth, fascinated Eanes, and got him thinking of the history embedded in the surfaces he encountered: their color, architecture and geometry, connecting to life’s story. “It really opened up my studio practice. I believe the job of any good painter is to notice the world around them. To pay close attention, to glimpse… and to then give expression to those feelings and observations, he said. “The act of painting is the act of discovery. It is adventurous. It is arduous. Ultimately the joy is in the doing. The making of the thing. The work itself.
With a studio in Benicia’s Lower Arsenal, Eanes is surrounded by friends and colleagues. “We see each other at the mailboxes and at gatherings. It’s a vibrant, supportive community of artists—it’s fantastic. I am fortunate to live and work here.”