Roberts is able to draw, paint, and design extremely well, but it is the quiet lyrical quality of his paintings that sets his work apart. This quality is apparent in nearly every piece he creates regardless of subject. Whereas, early in Roberts' career he was satisfied with a naturalistic effect in his paintings, now mere well crafted naturalism isn't good enough for him. The mood, tones and atmosphere of each effort have to be just right. The artist has made a conscious decision to make every major painting a mood piece.
However beautiful, there is an evocation of loneliness to Mark Roberts' paintings. Roberts offers, "the visual world is beautiful, but fleeting; it is constantly changing, youth fades, seasons change, day turns into night - there is a sadness to this". The artist finds a heightened sense of beauty in the emotions of loneliness and sadness. Indeed, his most powerful works strike a chord with these two univeral human emotions. A viewer literally wept when he first saw "In the Winter Orchard" when the painting was exhibited at the Museum of California Art.
Among the artists Roberts most admires are: Titian, Rembrandt, Velasquez, Vermeer, Chardin, and many nineteenth century painters. Among the French, he most admires Corot and Fantin Latour for their calm moods, Monet for his ability of seeing beauty in all types of landscape conditions, and Degas for his portraits. He appreciates the grey tonalities of the Dutch Hague school artists, particularily the work of Anton Mauve. He admires the simple honest beauty yet stong lyrical quality of the Russians: Serov, Repin, and Levitan. Among Americans, he is particularily fond of Whistler, Dewing, Twatchman, Hawthorne, and Emil Carlsen. Roberts admires the Whistlerian aspects of Klimts art as well as his use of the square format. Recently, Roberts became aquainted with the work of the Italians, Tranquillo Cremona and Daniele Ranzoni. He is enchanted by the poetic effect they achieve of viewing the subject as if through a veil.
Today Roberts acknowledges the influence of the artists he most admires. Roberts points out each of these artists were
|masters at the subtleties of tonal harmonies and that to a great extent, each were admirers of one another's work for this reason. "We are all connected", Mark humbly offers, "We belong to a fraternity of artists who are all affected in a similar manner by our visual experiences and as such are all tied together in a lineage." Mark's paintings represent an extension of admiration and influence that reaches across time and whose influences persit as an indelible force in his art. The artistic lineage can be felt in both the sensitive notes of his values as well as the drawing and design of his work. Mark Roberts' paintings possess a rare beauty that entitles him to take his place in the sequence of this lineage.|