David Neil Mack
Although I have been an artist ever since childhood, my first formal art instruction was at Central Catholic High School, Toledo, Ohio, where I was fortunate to have an outstanding art teacher, Sister Mary Genevieve. She taught us the many facets of art and, no doubt, was gratified to see several of us go on to become professional artists.
Armed with this solid foundation, I continued to develop my skills in all media at Bowling Green State University but was drawn to watercolor because of its versatility. Following graduation with a BFA, I took additional post-graduate painting courses at the University of Toledo. After a short stint in commercial art, I was then drafted into the United States Army and sent to Korea. While there, I accumulated many references for future paintings. (See the Asian Experience Gallery.)
Shortly after my discharge, I returned to Toledo and I was honored with a Gallery Eight One Man Show at the Toledo Museum of Art; most of the available paintings were sold. About the same time, I met and married my late wife, Jane, who encouraged me to enter the American Watercolor Society Annual Competition where I was accepted on my first try. Three more Annuals and two awards would follow: the American Watercolor Society Certificate of Merit for Painting and the Grumbacher Award of Merit for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts. These awards were both for the painting, Weathered Relics.
My Philosophy of Art
While many things have changed over a 55-year career as both professional artist and illustrator, my overall philosophy has not — to portray the world in a realistic yet unique way. Using common place and often overlooked subject matter, I've accepted the self-imposed challenge to take the ordinary and try to accomplish something extraordinary. Using a selective focus in my approach and at times a touch of surrealism to impart a point of view or different perspective, I ride the edge between the real world and the world of other possibilities. It is my hope in some small way to inspire the viewer to reexamine the wonders within and around us all.
I am blessed to have known early on that my life was at the end of a fine-art brush. At Rosary Cathedral Grade School when the First Grade teacher would hand out boxes of letters and numbers in the first grade, my eyes would glaze over and wouldn’t clear until the crayons came out. Nothing has changed all that much since those days — well, maybe some things have changed! I like to think I’ve gotten a little better!