Meet Mark Mattioli, our 2012 featured artist
Born in 1950, Mark Mattioli (this year's Napa Valley Open Studios cover artist) was raised in Burbank, CA. Academics took a back seat to art and athletics in his youth. Mad Magazine and comics sparked his zany imagination as a boy, and pictures in National Geographic magazine inspired countless pen and ink drawings. However, it was only after earning a degree in Biology from Cal State University at Northridge that he began to study art. He supported himself working at a bustling art supplies retailer in North Hollywood for several years, surrounded by art materials and artists, gradually accepting commercial art jobs on the side.
Mattioli arrived in the Napa Valley in 1980, and launched his own business enterprise--“Mattioli’s In-Your-Pocket Guides”-- in 1984. A one man operation, he has managed the art, sales, production, and distribution aspects of these quirky illustrated maps for several wine country towns. Even in today’s high tech digital world, Mattioli’s hand-illustrated guides still prevail and continue to provide success, recognition and livelihood. Of the guides, Mr. Mattioli comments gratefully: “I found a way to make art pay.”
His many contacts in the guide business have resulted in scores of commissions over the years, including commercial illustration, sign making, mural painting and fine art commissions. He began publicly exhibiting fine arts work in 1991, participating in the prestigious Napa Valley Wine Auction for over a dozen years, as well as Napa Valley Open Studios since 1999.
Influences throughout the years include Saul Steinberg, Mobius, Ronald Searle, Richard Stine and various contributors to Punch and New Yorker magazines. Also, Gary Larsen’s Far Side, Wiley Miller’s Non-Sequitur, and painters Wayne Thiebaud and the Wyeths. Travel also serves as inspiration, being removed from the routine and familiar. Says Mr. Mattioli: “Seeing with fresh eyes breeds fresh ideas.”
What to Expect at Studio 25 during Open Studios
Mark Mattioli and Elizabeth Bush share adjoining studios at their beautiful vineyard property in east Napa. This is the third year they have invited jeweler Teddi Hosman to set up her display of handcrafted delights. Teddi will discuss her design concepts and methods of executing them, and also conduct a raffle.
Mark is currently working on a series involving coffee characters and their pets painted on wooden wine boxes. He enjoys making his highly collectable work accessible to visitors during Open Studios. Upon request, he may be persuaded to share the “Doodle A Day” journals.
Elizabeth’s digital photography captures a quality of transition in her subjects, whether it’s a marvel of nature in her garden, a dilapidated vehicle, an abandoned building, a wonder from travels. Perhaps during Open Studios she will preview some of the Mare Island imagery she is preparing for a solo exhibit at Napa Valley Museum in Oct/Nov 2012....
These three diverse artists look forward to welcoming you to Studio #25 at this year’s Napa Valley Open Studios.
Mark’s Comments About Process & New Work
“My process begins with ideas—original and imaginative ideas—captured in notebooks and sketch pads. These drawings become the foundation of all the finished works. I love color, and also appreciate the graphic tonal effects of black and white.
While my subjects are broad—typically humor, oddity, dramatic scale and strong caricature are consistently in evidence. I am, at heart, a cartoonist who draws and paints.
On January 1 2012, I made a commitment to draw a 'doodle a day', hoping to fulfill a longtime dream of establishing a daily drawing practice. So far, I haven’t missed a day and have filled up 2 black journals. These 'doodles' are largely self-referencing; fearless, hilarious, poignant—many have an Everyman quality to them. My artist mate, Elizabeth, says they are 'master-full' and should be published.”