About Mark Rohrig
"I started drawing when I was about five and really enjoyed it. It made me feel alive. I had a sense of excitement when I would draw and I loved imagining. I felt happy when I drew. I drew and did things through school, and drew every chance I got. If there was any time I could get my hands on plain paper and a pencil, I drew. I got positive attention for my drawing. It made me feel connected when I could express myself through drawing and painting. There was a feeling of having an endless connection to something. There was always an urgency to draw, and it was addictive to me. Drawing was a very good friend.
I was awarded for my artwork at an early age in school. I gravitated towards drawings of the regional area I lived in, and to western historical themes. Mountains, trees, jagged rocks, brush, old buildings, trains, wagons, anything with the rustic look - I was drawn to it. There were many nights when I was middle school age that I spent with friends camping in the hills near my neighborhood. There was one night that a couple of buddies and I slept under a cliff, and in the night heard the hooves of wild horses above. These overnight adventures in nature captured my imagination. They gave me space to freely dream and let images run wild.
Around that same time, a shift came in my art, and I took on the challenges of drawing people, horses, and themes of Native Americans. At age twelve I learned about painting and color and was introduced to an instructor who gave me such freedom. She helped me open doors in myself to vast creativeness. I achieved some higher-level awards. Drawing made me feel more and more alive. Looking back, to me it felt like it was an inroad to a mystery of a different dimension. Drawing and painting was a teacher and taught me things about myself. I believe it built depth for me, compassion, the ability to feel deeply. It connected me to a deeper place, to a Great Creator, to God. There was an excitement to feel outside of the dimensions of normal living. It would tap on me for my attention, all the time.
The gift I was given helped me to look deep into my spirit, and appreciate beauty. I found beauty in not so beautiful things, like a dusty old trail, scroungy old pieces of sagebrush, a snowy cold day. I felt nearer to God. It was an absolute beautiful use of time since I was a daydreamer anyways. Ideas came in daydreams. Everything came to me visually, and I’d see it as a drawing or painting.
As a teenager, I began having people want to purchase my artwork. As a young adult, I was introduced into the professional art world through galleries and shows. I was well-received as a young man and it rocketed me into a career that has continued for 44 years.
I always felt moved by the culture of the Plains/South Western Plains Indians. I loved the creativeness of their whole life. I was moved by their spirit. They lived off of the true gifts of God, and they knew God gave these gifts to them. In my early years and in my late teens I was inspired by many other artists’ work who were painting Native American art. Frank Howell and Paul Pletka are two of them.
I felt very close to Frank on a spiritual level. He was an interesting, deep person to talk to. I related, listened to him, and looked at his works with amazing emotion. He was the one whom I had a more personal relationship with. I didn’t get to talk to Paul as much, but his encouragement went a long way.
The art world allowed a space for me to make a living and to develop a level of notoriety that I could draw and paint and show in galleries as often as I chose to.
Creating Native American art was a vehicle on my path in life into a mystical universe that I like hanging out in. I am truly grateful for the gift that was given to me. Currently, I feel like I am emerging into a higher level of spirit. I’ve been encouraged by those who love me to go further into a different universe with this. Today I value the gift that was given to me. I went through stages where I was meticulously mechanical, and I’m moving into a stage where I value being intensely free with my creativeness. The journey has brought me to creating from a lighter place.
Today I am shooting to capture the universe of love, which is what I am experiencing. I’m experiencing it in the art I create, and through sharing with loved ones what I am doing.
In my work, I am reaching a place of honest spirit. Integrity is important to me, which means letting happen in my work what happens... rawness, pureness, uncensored. Less definition and refining.
As an example, the painting Night Traveler was about coming out of a very dark night in my spirit and emerging into the spiritual light of God. It just happened, because it was what was happening to me. And many of my other pieces are pieces of creation like this, uninhibited with a willingness to express my own feeling. These were not calculated. They were unplanned and I just allowed them to happen.
Study of Natives has allowed me to know them on a spiritual level, beyond the historical level.
My desire in sharing with you is to open the door to communication. I invite personal collectors and galleries to contact me personally at the following phone number or email address."
A Family Passion
Mark Rohrig is a second-generation artist. Mark's father specialized in lapidary work bringing skill and ingenuity to his craft for many years. Mark's youngest daughter continues the family tradition following in Mark's footsteps with 2D art. Mark is proud to support Raven Rohrig. Click below to view Raven's work.