San Francisco-based artist Mark Ulriksen is well known for his bold, vibrantly expressionist paintings and illustrations. His use of simple, well articulated lines and strong colours results in highly graphic works that are full of character and immediately command attention. 

When painting dogs-one of his favourite subjects-Mark is able to capture the fun-loving spirit, quirky playfulness, or gentle soul of each individual. Mark’s muse and beloved friend Ted, a chocolate Lab, recently passed away. But as the frequent subject of paintings, he continues to delight. Mark has a passion for baseball, and in the summer of 1999 travelled around the U.S., visiting ballparks that were slated to be torn down and replaced with newer stadiums. Quotes from his interviews with fans and stadium employees are included in his works. The demise of Tiger Stadium in Detroit, first opened in 1912, was what inspired him to cover the whole ballpark series project.

Saying that he "stumbled upon" a career as a creative person, Mark was originally a graphic designer, then a magazine art director, and in 1994 started illustrating and painting pictures for a living. Influenced by magazines, museums, The New York Times, galleries, CD-ROMs, videotapes, movies, and architecture, he "slow-cooks" his works from a blend of inspirations. His illustrations have graced the covers of many magazines, among them The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Time and Newsweek Japan. Specializing in two areas, his loves and his fears, gives him a lot of latitude in subject matter and, as he puts it, "beats seeing a shrink."

Drawing and painting from his home studio allows him to spend time with his wife and two daughters, two cats and new puppy, Henry (another chocolate Lab). He says the working conditions are great: he can play music all day long and dress like a teenager while doing what he feels he was born to do, creating a product that is uniquely his own and sharing it with others.■

Interested in finding out how you can purchase Mark’s art or if he can be commissioned to paint your pooch? Check out his website at