Mark Poss was born in Big Springs, Texas, and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Texas in Austin. After graduation he went on to pursue graduate study in art history, but before he was able to complete his degree, he was seduced by the idea of making art. A graduate school professor from whom Poss sought advice put him in touch with Garrett Midough, an artist with a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting, who was making his living driving a bus. Midough schooled Poss in the basic skills of the fine tradition of the craft – how to prepare a panel or canvas for painting, how to mix and apply paint, and so on, but Poss has remained largely self-taught.
Poss spent ten years in Ohio, painting on both panel and canvas working almost exclusively on landscape. Although he has experimented with abstraction, his paintings are mostly representational, often reflecting where he has been – West Texas, Ohio, and now Virginia. Poss does not aim for a sense of locale, however. Although he does some sketching out of doors, he does not paint plein air. He likes to sketch directly with paint onto the canvas and work a composition out through layers, beginning with an idea, which changes through the free flow of working. He draws primarily from memory, having developed over time a personal vocabulary. The artist holds on to poignant visual memories, making collages of them in his mind. A recurrent vision includes a wheat field seen early one Saturday morning at harvest time. The field was half harvested and the farmer was using a hand scythe.
Poss’s work has been exhibited in Ohio and throughout the middle-Atlantic states. It can be found in private and corporate collections across the United States.