Mark Downey was born and raised in the state of Washington and began creating images of the natural world in third grade, when he produced 30 depictions of western birds with crayons. He began painting the scenery of the Pacific Northwest at the age of 15 when a high school art teacher mentored and kindled his passion for capturing nature with paint.
Downey’s early career began as an Army illustrator in Vietnam which led to a magazine illustration job in Los Angeles. He worked as a free-lance commercial artist for many years as well as doing illustrations for children’s books. In 2005 Downey moved to Kentucky where the bluegrass landscape attracted his attention.
Downey has been painting for over 40 years focusing on ‘realism’ and the depiction of regional landscapes and indigenous wildlife. His subject matter is researched in the field and then he takes his drawings back to the studio for preparation and composition. Downey strives to portray the beauty around him. He states, “I respect our land and the life within it, whether it is the autumn gold drenched stand of trees by a babbling mountain brook, the delicate morning light on a meadow, or the serenity of a quiet reflecting river.”
Works by Mark Downey can be found at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.