Mark Reepis creating Drawings, writing, and videos
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On the drawing table
Access complete series of in-progress scans and comments from a drawing’s start to finish. Whenever possible, I'll post one series monthly. I enjoy exploration and discovery at the drawing table, and you’re invited along for the ride.
Turn it up
More in-progress video, demonstrations of technique, drawing & text pieces, audio excerpts from fiction, poetry, other writing. A podcast is in the works, and supporters at this level also receive all rewards at the $1 & $3 levels.
My name is Mark Reep. I’m an artist and writer based in Northern Pennsylvania and New York’s Finger Lakes region. For over twenty years, I’ve shown and sold my graphite, charcoal, and ink drawings in galleries, juried exhibitions, and museums. My work has appeared in American Art Collector, Endicott Journal, Bluecanvas and many other publications. I also work with stone, and take photographs. If you’d like to see more, visit my website: http://markreep.net.
In 2014, my mother’s illness necessitated a hiatus from drawing and gallery commitments while I cared for her. On September 17, 2016, she passed away. When I was ready to make art again, my longtime partner, the artist Parnilla Carpenter suggested I list some unframed drawings on eBay. Response has been encouraging. Some drawings have sold for significantly less than they might have brought in gallery shows, but commissions and costs are correspondingly lower as well.
I’m happy about this for several reasons. Most importantly, my drawings pay bills. They keep the light on over the drawing table, they pay for my utilities, my internet connection. One day soon I hope they’ll pay for some upgrades, a more reliable connection to upload video files, etc. And of course, the big bills too. My goal remains a simple one many of us share: I want to make a living making art.
Another reason I’m excited about making work available directly is that more friends can afford it. Over the years, many have purchased prints, cards, notebooks, other products featuring my images from print-on-demand sites like Redbubble, Fine Art America. Now, without the necessity of maintaining pricing understandably driven by galleries’ much higher overheads, folks who couldn’t have afforded to buy my work at gallery prices can afford an original drawing. That’s important to me. Feels good.
This month, a step-by-step article on the making of my recent drawing Pirate Radio Edit will be featured in Strathmore Artist Papers’ quarterly newsletter. Today, I’m launching this Patreon account.
As I mentioned above, my goal is simple: Make a living making art. For several years I’ve worked whenever I could cutting and selling firewood; it’s been a significant portion of my income. Unfortunately, with the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer and widespread logging of infected ash trees, the local firewood market has been glutted. Prices have fallen, and won’t likely rebound soon. Also, I’m 56, and I can’t cut what I used to. I want to cut less firewood, make more art. If you like my work, and you’re able, you can help with as little as a dollar a month.
What’s in it for you? A fair question, especially in challenging times, when many of us are struggling. If, like me, you value insights into other artists’ ways of working, I hope you’ll enjoy my work-in-progress scans and comments. I’ll post video clips. I plan to launch a podcast. Your support will help by enabling upgrades like better editing software, and better microphones.
Your support will also help with the costs of artmaking tools and materials. My primary medium, drawing, is a relatively affordable one. But poor quality tools and materials– soft charcoal pencils that break continually when sharpened, inks that dry too slowly and smear, paper intolerant of my admitted abuses– can cost more in time and effort than more expensive alternatives of better quality. With your help, I hope to be able to afford higher-quality tools, and utilize topshelf illustration and mixed media boards.
My eyesight isn’t what it used to be. I recently bit the bullet and got new glasses, and I use an inexpensive magnifier, but my eyes would benefit from one of better quality. I’d like a more eye-friendly lamp as well. When I began this journey, I could work all day at the drawing table. Now, my eyes demand shorter sessions, more breaks, and I've learned to not draw and drive! Your support will help me continue to create the level of detail I love, and my eyes will thank you for it.
Writing plays an important part in my work. I write fiction, poetry, reviews, and instructional articles on artmaking. I blog. I also create drawing-and-text pieces. Some accompanying texts are simple, brief: A few lines of poetry, perhaps excerpted from some larger work. Others are more extensive, like this history of a Scottish lighthouse, Loch Traignarry Light. If you’re interested in my writing, I hope you’ll enjoy my feed.
My home was a working farm many years ago. Most evidence of that time is gone, but a number of dry-laid stone walls remain between overgrown fields. I’ve repaired some, added seating in a couple places, and I maintain firewood roads and paths as I can. The house needs a lotta work, and I’ve torn down most of the outbuildings, with the exception of a little granary that’s become my workshop and stoneworking studio. But I’m blessed to live in a quiet place, with woods and other wonderful resources.
I mention this because my home fuels my work, has become a part of it. When friends tell me they’ve enjoyed visiting, walking, spending time here, I’m happy. I’ll include photos of the paths, stone and related work, as well as my studio, with the hope you’ll enjoy as well.
I’ve set up several reward tiers I hope supporters of my work will enjoy. If you’re considering pledging, please take a look with your budget and interest in mind. Questions and suggestions are always welcome. If there’s something you’d like to see made available, let me know.
As always, thanks for looking, and thanks so much for your help.
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