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About the Artist

 

Mark Mittlesteadt - Central Wisconsin Artist and Muralist

What is an artist? While labels are defining and can be helpful, they are also limiting. I prefer to think in terms of limitless possibilities.

I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a child. My mother was an artist. A very talented woman that would put us to bed and then take out her art supplies and paint well into the night. She created many works of art and traveled around the art show circuit selling her paintings. Her influence on me was inspiring.

When I was older I realized I always had a desire to create things since a very young age. I liked to take things apart just to see how they were made and try to find a better way to build them.

In high school I took mechanical engineering classes and found that my talents were not just limited to drawing and painting, but I could apply my imagination to almost anything.

 

Despite signing up for engineering classes at a local college, I decided to pursue my love of music and joined a band that traveled all over the country. Yet, I still loved art.

After a long time of touring and playing music, I started doing people and pet portraits as a little side job to my music. I found I could make a living doing this so I joined up with my mother and together we shared an art studio where we both created and went to art shows together.

I found a niche in wildlife art. My father’s influence on me nurtured that love of nature and it was the perfect subject matter for my early works.

While I still love painting wildlife, I was becoming frustrated with the expectations that came along with the label of being a “wildlife artist”. People actually would come up to me and ask, “Aren’t you that eagle artist?” I went back to painting portraits and also started painting murals on cars and bikes. Doing different things kept my imagination satisfied.

So basically, what makes me an artist? I’m also an inventor, musician, writer, amateur astronomer, husband and father. All those things are labels and while I am those things, I am so much more.

They all work together helping me see the world as a very beautiful and interesting place filled with unending possibilities. My varied interests and hobbies feed my imagination which has led me to create a wide variety of artwork.


 

Canada Geese


Portrait of my father


Bike Tank Mural


DC Everest School Forest Geological Timeline Mural


I have a habitual need to create…something, anything. No matter what I'm designing, building, sculpting or painting, it’s all part of the creative process as an outlet for my imagination...which is why when you look through my galleries you see that I draw and paint portraits, landscapes, wildlife, commercial illustration, murals on cars and bike tanks, sculptures for exhibits, and so on.

I’m an idea person. I love to work with others ideas to see what we can create together. My favorite part of any project is the initial spark that gets the imagination going.

I found that my paintings were getting larger and larger until I realized no canvas was large enough to hold my ideas. And so I began painting murals. The entire process of doing murals is exciting.

From the first moment someone comes to me with an idea to run with, to painting on a large wall where there is interaction between myself and others throughout the process, there is a constant source of inspiration for both myself and those who are involved in the project.

And that inspiration doesn't stop when the project is done. Because of the lasting quality and permanence of murals, they continue to inspire for years after their creation is completed.

 

My first foray into very large murals for exhibits was painting murals in a private museum out in Montana. While I was initially hired as a subcontractor by another artist who needed help painting two 80 ft. X 14 ft. high murals as part of a larger exhibit, my role expanded almost immediately.

I found a love for the entire process of creating a realistic 3D scene the murals only enhanced. I began helping the taxidermists place the animals in their 3D environments as if they were subjects in a painting, composing the entire scene so as to direct the viewers’ eyes throughout the exhibit.

That one project thrust me into a whole new exciting world of creating something so much grander than a single painting. My mural work took on new significance in my life.

Murals weren’t just paintings on a wall, or decoration to turn a drab wall into something more colorful, but a way to completely change the way we feel in the environments we live and work in. Murals became a way to inspire others.

With that I took on more challenging projects. I spent two years of my life devoted to the task of designing and creating a one of a kind natural history museum for the DC Everest School District in Schofield Wisconsin out at their School Forest.

With such an enormous job in front of me I enlisted the help of my son Sam to help with the construction of the 3D habitats. There isn’t another museum like it in the entire country where the exhibit is devoted entirely to a school’s environmental education. That project is a never ending source of inspiration for generations to come.


 

Leopard in Brian Valentine Museum

Sam Champine


Mittlesteadt Family

Be Inspired



After 30 years of being an “artist”, I have the greatest people surrounding, supporting and inspiring me. My wife Dawn (who is also a graphic designer and very creative in many ways) and my children Sam, Alex, Lauren and Michelle all have been there for many of the moments I’ve been blessed to be a part of.

I’ve found that being an artist is more than simply being a person who creates works of art. I have a need to create, but I desire inspiration and have a wish to inspire others.

Inspiring others is what we offer. It’s in our company mission statement. You will see the words “Be Inspired” in almost all our literature because it isn’t a slogan, it’s a way of life. It’s our wish to be an inspiration to others. It is the very reason I create.

Allowing me into your home or business is an opportunity I value because it gives me the chance to exchange ideas with you in hopes that we can inspire each other, together creating a work of art that transforms your environment into something that continues to inspire ourselves and others.

So that’s what this “artist” is about. Be Inspired!!!


Yukon Territories Stamp



  • 1999 Timber Wolf Preservation Society Artist of the Year.
  • Duck's Unlimited Cover Artist.
  • Yukon Territories Conservation Stamp award winner.
  • New Brunswick Territories Conservation Stamp award winner.
  • Prince Edward Island Conservation Stamp award winner.
  • 1991 Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp finalist
  • 1992 Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp finalist
  • 1993 Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp finalist
  • 1994 Wisconsin Pheasant Stamp finalist
  • 1996 Wisconsin Turkey Stamp finalist


     


     


     


     


     


     
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