An admiration for the simple life, old fashion values and the spirit of adventure are what ignited Mark Martensenís interest in painting his vision of the wild west. Born and raised in San Diego, California, this 36 year-old was drawn to spaghetti westerns and playing cowboys and indians as a kid. Strongly influenced by his fatherís easy going manner, Markís appreciation of the old westís traditions developed artistically at an early age "I gave my grandmother everything I painted as a child," he said, "recently she gave it all back and I was amazed that even then all I seemed to paint were cowboys and horses."

Self-taught as an artist, Markís California roots led him to producing a variety of artwork ranging from airbrushing surfboards to painting murals on cars and trucks, never straying far from what he enjoyed most - just being creative.

After painting a vast number of topics, ironically through time and maturity, Mark found himself coming full circle and returning to the subject he found most intriguing as a child - the wild west.

Working first in pastels, he moved to oils in the early Ď80s and most recently began exploring his talent in the medium of bronze sculpture. Painting professionally since 1986, his highly acclaimed works have progressed from a photo real style to a looser, more paintery style that has captured the attention of many collector in both the U.S. and abroad.

At his first juried show, as a virtual unknown, he took both first place and honorable mention. Since that time Mark has had many one man shows, participated in many group shows and received numerous awards.

His paintings are exhibited all through the southwest and he is currently expanding his territory to include other regions. Currently he is represented by galleries in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Indiana.

Well know in the Southern California market, he is proud that a western artist can reign from basically a beach community and still capture the essence and soul of the old west.

Mark feels his art speaks for itself, and his passion for this period in American history is exemplified in his work.. With imagination and brushstrokes he is able to reincarnate the spirit of another time on canvas, but leave you believing that cowboys still exist Ö. Even in California.