Born in Washington, D.C., Mark Susinno grew up in the Maryland suburbs of the nation's capital until moving to Brooklyn, N.Y., to attend Pratt Institute on a four-year, full-tuition merit scholarship. Upon graduation with highest honors and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting in 1979, Mark went to work as a torch-cutter and truck driver for a scrap metal and dismantling firm in Brooklyn. A two-month long cross-country road trip led Mark to leave NYC for Maryland in 1982, where he continued to dabble in artistic pursuits while working at various non-art-related jobs. Working as a fabricator of bullet-proof doors in 1985, Mark won the 1986 Maryland Trout Stamp contest and decided to concentrate on art professionally. Since then, he has specialized in painting underwater depictions of freshwater and saltwater gamefish and in scenes of fly fishermen pursuing their quarry. Along the way, Mark has added twenty more fishing stamps to his list of credits, including the 1991 First-of-State Pennsylvania Trout/Salmon Stamp and the 2005 First-of-State Texas Freshwater Stamp. Since 1987, Mark's limited edition prints have been published primarily by Wild Wings, L.L.C.
Of his own approach to painting, Mark says:
"I'm a fisherman and that fact affects how I approach making paintings of game fish. I enjoy suggesting the sense of light and space of the shallow-water aquatic environment, but I also feel the need to present the fish themselves such that they are recognizable to the average fisherman, who is most familiar with how a fish looks when it is out of water. When painting fish (either in oils or acrylics), my main focus is on creating an interesting abstract arrangement of shapes, colors, textures, and patterns, which I hope will also convey a more or less convincing impression of an underwater scene."
His love of fishing (and the need to gather reference material) have led Mark to Alaska after Pacific salmon, trout, char. sheefish, grayling, and pike; Labrador for big brookies; Scotland and many North American locales for trout; Florida for tarpon, bonefish, snook, seatrout, redfish, & 'cuda; the east coast for stripers, bluefish, & dolphin; and too many places to mention for his beloved smallmouth bass. Mark is an avid fly fisherman, and fly fishes in both freshwater and saltwater. His wife Roxanne (also an avid fly fisher) accompanies him on many reference-gathering excursions.
Mark is a Distinguished Member of the Society of Animal Artists and a member of American Mensa.
I have donated art to many fishing-related conservation organizations over the years, including the following:
Trout Unlimited, both the national organization and local chapters
Bonefish & Tarpon Trust
American Fisheries Society
NC State Veterinary School Turtle Team
In addition, I would be happy to discuss donating to a particular conservation organization a portion of the retail price of an original that is purchased directly from me.