Mark Bonnette

As a graduate of The University of Michigan School of Architecture and Design I have worked professionally for 40 years as an industrial designer. Most of this time has been spent in the transportation industries of mass transit, aerospace and marine. In the early years of my career gouache watercolor was the process for highly rendered technical illustrations. I became very skilled at the use of this medium in rendering products of all sorts. I also painted for my personal enjoyment selecting landscapes and florals for subject matter because the organic forms were so different from the work I was doing as a designer.

Watercolor is my medium of choice because of its flexibility, vibrant color and the way paint can flow freely with subtle guidance to create “happy accidents” in color blends with a wet process and then tighten edges with more controlled brush strokes. Although I have painted many subjects from landscapes and portraits, products and marine environments I have always enjoyed floral painting because of the unlimited subject possibilities, composition potential, color and the way watercolor naturally flows with the form of blossoms and the surrounding environment. My technical training carries over into my artwork in the way I approach the process but the organic nature of flowers allows for a more open expressive and free flowing application of the medium.

Sketching with pen or pencil is also a strong interest of mine. When traveling I like to take my sketch book and compose landscapes and architectural features of the places I’ve visited. My collection of images from around the United States, Rome, Sardinia, Mexico and other locations is a great personal record and more intimate than photography.