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Sara R here.  I am so pleased to introduce tonight's artist, Marko the Werelynx, who I know well from Street Prophets.  Marko is a Wisconsin lad who has been living in the Czech Republic for years now, studying fine art and raising a family with his favorite female (as he affectionately calls his Czech wife).  He's talented, witty, and has a great range of style.  Enjoy his work!  Marko does take commissions so please contact him if you would like a special painting made just for you.

Nibble on some sugar cookies by King Arthur Flour and listen to some tunes chosen by our music master, ulookarmless, while you look at the art.

Greetings! And welcome to my little show. I'll do my best to live up to and elaborate upon that introduction while presenting some pictures of my work that are hopefully so thoroughly squashed that they will sneak past the iron knees of the band-width monitors.

I suppose that you could say that I'm a Wisconsin lad. It will help confuse Duh Donald when he goes looking for my long-form birth certificate. But I did essentially grow up in that magical land of cheese and beer. My schooling would indicate that I'm really more of a graphic artist than a fine artist. But I do such a variety of work that most labels don't fit. When it comes to actual income I guess most days you'd call me an illustrator. I scrape by on the patience of my favorite female and occasional bursts of gainful employment. The vast majority of what I create is made for advertising companies to show their clients to help sell ideas-- mostly storyboards for commercials.

Just how much of this back story is actually interesting to anybody? I'll try to keep it brief. I'll be around to answer any questions you might have. I should be within reach of the smoked salmon. Sara R informs me that I should tack some prices on these. I hate the financial end of this business and you should take that as a signal to haggle. Shipping some of these pieces may require me to dust off my crate packing skills. Well, I can hope can't I?

At any rate, I moved to Prague (in the liver of Europe) to be with my favorite person on the planet and we got married.

"Wedding Portrait (A Work In Progress)", 25"h x 19.5"w, oil on canvas, artist's collection (make me an offer! Surely you want my wedding portrait-- no?)
And what a dark day that was obviously. Actually this was done from a photograph and it was one of the few where I'm not grinning like a besotted fool.

Until fairly recently I was working part-time as a ceramics teacher. In fact, my first job upon arriving in the Czech Republic was teaching. Yeah, they tried to make me teach ceramics combined with English but the students and I seemed to prefer Czech with our clay. Here's a bit of sculpture for the glass display cases in the gallery.

"Dragon Head", 4" tall, stoneware w/ light green glaze, $95
And here's a piece that we can leave out on a short pedestal for the kids to play with.

"Marble Slide", 8.5" tall, unglazed stoneware, $240 (marbles included
Perhaps one of these days you'll put up with me putting up a show just of my pottery.

There be monsters:

While I was teaching I was able to indulge in my love of fantasy art. Both of the following paintings were used as cover paintings for a prominent Czech literary monthly magazine called "Ikarie"

"Blue Dragon", 25"h x 20"w, oil on illustration board, $460

"Ice Toads", 25"h x 20"w, oil on illustration board, $375
And even though it has been a long time since those were made I still occasionally paint something with a fantasy theme.

Still have the fire:

"Sea Serpent", 31"h x 27"w, oil on Masonite, $870

"Mutant Zombie", 19"h x 19.5"w, oil on Masonite, $375
Was that last one a bit too gruesome for you? Something for everyone here... How about we stick with oil paintings but change the subject matter. Recently, I've been painting flowers too.

A little Bach with your flowers?

"Geraldine's Bouquet" 19"h x 19"w, oil on Masonite, $445

"Carnations", 22"h x 19"w, oil on Masonite, $475
And here's a little experiment in painting straight from the tubes.

"Chrysanthemums", 19"h x 19"w, oil on rough Masonite, $325
Prague: Ancient, romantic, enigmatic:

I've been in Prague for about 20 years now. As you might expect I do manage to get out sketching occasionally:

Croquille sketch of the rotunda at Vyšehrad, acid free cartridge paper, $45

Croquille sketch of Prague Castle from Petřín, acid free cartridge paper, $45
And here are a couple of watercolor paintings:

Watercolor sketch of the street leading to St. Anne's Convent, acid free cartridge paper, $150

St. Vitus Cathedral as seen from the porch at the Queen's Summer Palace, approximately 20"h x 16"w, watercolor on acid free paper, $540
I like to take my watercolors into the local museums and galleries. Here's a sampling of sketches I made of paintings that caught my eye:
Landscape with Ironworks, Herri Met de Bles, watercolor on cold-pressed carton, 15"h x 19.5"w, $480

Castle Křivoklát by Antonín Mánes, 13"h x 17"w, watercolor on acid free paper, $625
A Proposal for a Project:

I really do enjoy that sort of painting. I like the landscapes with depth and detail that make you feel like you could walk right in and follow the paths though the painting into another world. They remind me of a picture I loved that my pediatrician had up on the wall of his examining room of a winding path that led past the haunts of various nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters. I remember following the path with my eyes. One of the last pictures I drew and published before leaving Wisconsin was this piece inspired by the "Uncle Art" comic that showed up with my colorful Sunday supplement and the crazy hidden object pictures that kept me from actually reading anything in "Highlights" magazine:

My last surviving photocopy of the original piece!

Oddly enough it partially inspired my work on this piece that I drew for the cover of the second Street Prophets Cookbook:
There are quite a few little inside jokes in the details. Watercolor and colored pencil on acid free paper, I might be convinced to sell the original...

I've wanted to create a really big painting of this sort. I mentioned my love of these detailed, convoluted landscapes once upon a time and I thought it could perhaps be of use to the dKos community. Maybe I could make something for the Tree Climbers group. Seems to me that there was some talk about building a shelter to help care for survivors of Child Sex Abuse (CSA) and where there are walls there is a need for decoration. I found this little sketch hiding in my stacks of old scribbles:
And this sketch of kids climbing around on rocks in a mountain stream:

And here's a drawing of some puppies:
Because the woozles will demand equal time even in a werelynx's show.

I really think the emphasis of the painting would be on animals and fanciful creatures placed in a landscape of rolling hills, trees... I'm imagining a central, broad tree would dominate the picture and be home to all sorts of critters and perhaps a few children could be playing, resting, reading, etc... in and under its branches. The whole thing would be cartoony and colorful-- maybe a bit like these pages of a comic that did not quite get published in a certain gaming magazine:

I think it would be good if the picture didn't have any adult humans stomping around in it. I thought I'd take advantage of my debut in Galley Kos to present this idea to the community. I thought that if there was enough interest in this we could figure out the details in the comments and I could do something like create a Kickstarter page for the project and begin work. There could be high quality prints made of the finished painting for the donors and any over-bidding on the project would go directly to support Tree Climbers.

Marko:Love this. Don't understand a word, just beautiful.-CJ

And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed seeing a sampling of my work.

[Marko's musical note] It has been fun for me to get to know ulookarmless through our messages about what music to include. I really like the songs by Deer Tick and Diablo Swing Orchestra. I'd never heard of those groups before! I've got a personal story to go along with each of the other artists featured here. I first met members of the Czech group Duende after the opening of an exhibition of the work of mutual friends and later discovered that my brother-in-law knew them much better than I did. They are wonderful in concert and seem to be eternally seeking new vocalists. The Gomers is one of those bands from my dairyland youth that I saw in concert several times and hung out with via our mutual friends on a couple of occasions. Last time I heard them play and sipped beer with them was last summer during one of my rare trips back stateside. Jiří Stivín is just one of those performers that I associate with Prague. One of the first I saw in concert here and a favorite of my favorite female. He's a very talented musician known as much for his interpretations of Bach and Vivaldi as for his sprightly jazz. Ivan Kral is a Czech performer that some of you may know from his work with Patti Smith. I first saw him when he was the opening act for David Bowie here-- and I was so taken with Ivan's performance that I don't remember much of Bowie's set. And ah, lovely Martina Trchová-- I met her when she was just a skinny little tadpole at a summer camp. Now she encourages me to make copies of her CDs. Martina is a regularly featured performer in the Prague club scene (the nicer venues!) and no summer music festival in the area is complete without her. I'm glad ulookarmless picked one of her songs. A little more international attention is just what she deserves.

Cheaper, wearable, beverage holding, tablet covering, beautifully printed samples of some of my work are available over on Printfection.

A peek at my Facebook page might show you what a $900 ceramic, custom built, hinge-lidded pot with lizards looks like or grant you a peek at some recent storyboard frames and samples that I send out to ad agencies. I never did make a big show of maintaining my internet anonymity. I figure that if someone wants to go through all the effort to track me down the least I can do is buy them a beer.

Thanks for coming out to the gallery tonight!

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Originally posted to Gallery Kos on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by DKOMA, Street Prophets , Kos Katalogue, and PWB Peeps.

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