Emerging Artists | Mark Daly

Melodies in paint

Mark Daly, Harbor Lights, Camden, oil, 24 x 36.

Mark Daly, Harbor Lights, Camden, oil, 24 x 36.

This story was featured in the November 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

When Mark Daly first picked up a paintbrush 10 years ago, at age 51, he was already an accomplished entrepreneur, passionate art collector, and consummate mandolin player. “Painting finds you,” he says, “and it found me, but at a later age in life.” With his customary enthusiasm for tackling new ventures, Daly sought artistic guidance from his longtime musician buddy, impressionist painter C.W. Mundy, who lives just a few hours from Daly’s home in Cincinnati, OH. “C.W. has been a phenomenal mentor. He’d come to my studio, and we’d paint together regularly,” says Daly. “That helped accelerate things dramatically. I would never be where I am without him.”

Where Daly is these days, as a fine artist, is worth noting. He has scooped up multiple national awards for his impressionistic portrayals of landscapes, city streets, and coastal life. Most recently, his nocturne HARBOR LIGHTS, CAMDEN garnered first place in Oil Painters of America’s Spring Online Showcase. For Daly, painting is much like writing a musical composition. There’s a melody, he says. “A song is meant to communicate a musical story and mood, and it’s the same with a painting,” he explains. “I want to hit the highlights and give you the description of a scene, but I let you fill in all the blanks.”

Daly grew up on Long Island, NY, where he learned to draw the area’s boats and coastline under the mentorship of a local marine artist. Today his enduring passion for nautical life reverberates throughout his oeuvre. He maintains studios both in Ohio and on the coast of Maine, where he often paints en plein air at a harbor right outside his door. Wherever he goes, Daly strives to experience what he calls “the fabric” of a place, eager to capture its classic, timeless qualities on canvas. Paris and New York City are among his favorite working locations, but just about any setting that displays color and movement is a shoo-in for the artist, and flags are a recurring motif throughout his work for the same reason. “They have so much meaning, and the patterns and colors reinforce the visual impression of a scene,” he says. “They take you to another place just by placing them in a painting.”
—Kim Agricola

representation
Rehs Contemporary Galleries, New York, NY; Rich Timmons Fine Art Gallery, Doylestown, PA; Castle Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN; Greenacres Artists Guild, Cincinnati, OH.

This story was featured in the November 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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