Mark Boedges: Fine art close to home

Fine artist Mark Boedges will welcome the community to his new studio on Friday.
Fine artist Mark Boedges will welcome the community to his new studio on Friday.

After three years in Burlington, Shelburne’s Mark Boedges has moved his gallery closer to home. Earlier this month, Boedges put the finishing touches on his new space in the red barn next to Wind Ridge Publishing.

“It’s a little less room,” he said. “It’s more of a studio than a gallery but that’s perfect because I sell my work on-line and at other galleries so having a bona fide retail space wasn’t critical. It’s a nice intimate place for events.” With his newly shortened commute, Boedges can spend more time with his two young daughters who are one and three years old.

Boedges moved to Vermont in 2006, and he and his wife settled in Shelburne three years ago. Ironically, the first exhibit in his Burlington space was called “Scenes from Shelburne.” Now, Boedges’ gallery/studio is just a mile from the place he calls home, and many of the venues he likes to paint are just down the road. A favorite spot is the corner of Mt. Philo and Hinesburg Roads, which features a beautiful view of Camel’s Hump.

Boedges is a plein air painter; a French term for someone who paints outside. “The landscape as a form of fine art has always been my passion,” he said. “It’s important for an artist to be in front of his subject.” Boedges is outside in all seasons, although he keeps his easel indoors when there is precipitation or the temperature falls below 15 degrees because his oil paints stiffen in the cold. “I like to go out and taunt nature and say ‘I can beat you’,” he said, “but that’s rarely the case.”

Weather notwithstanding, fall and winter are Boedges’ favorite seasons for painting. “I love good winter scenes,” he said. “White provides automatic contrast and winter scenes have been some of my best sellers.” For summer painting, Boedges enjoys finding streams to provide contrast and break up the blocks of green. He generally prefers foreground views to grand vistas.

Boedges has a degree in philosophy, but after graduating from college and getting a “real job,” he realized he wanted to focus on art and returned to school. He didn’t finish his graduate art degree but took his skills out into the field to paint and never looked back. Although he has tinkered with water colors and pastels, his professional career has been as an oil painter. He has been a featured artist in a variety of magazines, including  “International Artist,” “Art of the West,” and “Plein Air,” and has won awards at numerous exhibits including Best in Show at Wayne Plein Air (twice), Scottsdale Salon of Fine Art, Vermont Plein Air, and Door County Plein Air.

Boedges has taught workshops for a number of years, but he has lately been increasing the number. He held seven this year including one in Scottsdale, Arizona and another in Sarasota, Florida. Boedges began painting professionally in 2000 and thanks to his website and the fact that his work is displayed in some prominent galleries, he has attracted both a national and international following. This year, a woman from Germany attended one of his Vermont workshops and purchased some of his paintings.

On Oct. 21, Boedges will welcome the community to an open house at his new gallery. The doors will be open from 4 to 7pm, and light refreshments will be served.

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