Mark Silversmith Fine Art
It is a time before reservations. One can almost hear the cracking of Aspen branches as the crisp winter wind whispers through the mountains. Listen quietly as horse hooves crunch against mounds of freshly fallen snow. A lone rider makes his way through the forest in a time when land was not fenced. It was a time before land was a possession to be bought , sold or stolen.
Mark Silversmith's renditions of majestic mountain ranges, wildlife, vast canyons and Native peoples are his way of honoring the earth. He paints a remembrance of those who shared the land together in his recreations of man and horse as they share guardianship of the wilderness with the eagle,the buffalo, the wolf, the deer and the elk.
Image after image comes to life in a Mark Silversmith painting. The landscape comes alive and the viewer makes a journey to a place of serene beauty.
Mark's love for nature comes from his Navajo heritage and the teachings of his grandfather and father, both of whom were noted Navajo silversmith's in their own day.
Mark Silversmith comes from a creative family as both his father and grandfather were silversmiths. He was born in Rehoboth, New Mexico in 1954 and spent most of his young life on the Navajo Reservation east of Gallup, NM.
While still a pre-schooler he would draw and doodle on any scrap of paper he could find. The first inspirations for the subjects in his paintings were his environment and the Navajo culture and traditions. He observed wildlife in the natural setting of the high country of pines during the summer, and while grazing cattle in the valley during the winter.
Mark attended boarding school at Fort Wingate near Gallup, NM, and he recalls his fourth grade teacher choosing him to draw the posters and school class boards.
After graduating from Southwestern Oklahoma State at Weathorford, OK, Mark taught art and industrial art classes to elementary and middle school students at the BIA school, Dzilth-na-o-dith-hle, south of Bloomfield, NM.
He followed this with a B.A. degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and taught junior high school for seven years. He then turned professional artist and in 1982 married Barbara, who is also now his agent.
His life experience of chopping wood and hauling water plus the example his father set led Mark to have good work ethics, and to appreciate the modern conveniences.
This discipline is shown in his art as Mark studies all North American Indian tribes for their culture and traditions in preparation for his paintings. Since the different tribes traded among each other sometimes the subjects in his paintings may be dressed in the breastplate of one tribe and wearing another article of clothing or beads from another tribe. It is Mark's belief that all tribes have a common bond.
Watercolor painting is his expertise but he is also skillful in pastels, acrylics, and sculpture. Mark's originals, limited edition prints, and posters are found in hundreds of galleries and private collections world wide.
Mark was honored as the Indian Arts and Crafts Association Native Artist of 1986.
At the 1997 Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Inc. (SWAIA) Mark Silversmith was awarded First Place in Transparent Watercolor, and Second Place in Opaque Water-Based Paint.
He lives in Farmington, NM, in the Four Corners region of the Southwest.