The exceptional work of American realist painter Mark Arian is the product of natural artistic talent, heartfelt passion, and more than fifty years of study and observation. He was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1947 and received formal training in painting and sculpture at the Frudakis Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Barnstone Studios in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a private art academy in Florence, Italy, and the La Jolla Atheneum, and Watts Atelier in San Diego, California. After his teenage years in America’s Midwest, Arian entered a monastery in California in search of spiritual enlightenment, where he devoted the next 18 years of his life to the service of the order as a monk.
There, his early morning meditations were followed by ten to twelve hours of creating drawings, paintings, and murals for the monastery. In addition, he was sent to some of the leading art schools of the day to study. This monastic life allowed him to both refine his technical skills and open his heart and mind to the spiritual beauty of the world around him. Arian’s purpose is to utilize the technical mastery of drawing and painting to express the joy and beauty permeating the physical world. His artistic influences are the French master William Bouguereau, American realist John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase, Russian Masters Ilya Repin, and Nicolai Fecin, and contemporary realist Richard Schmid.