Mark Keathley was born in 1963 and grew up in the family farm in East Texas. Keathley loved romping through the woods and across open fields. He spent most of his spare time outside chasing lizards and trying to catch that illusive grand-daddy largemouth bass. In this environment, he was here where he first spied his mother’s oil painting box in the attic of his country home. Keathley had drawn pictures voraciously since age five, but the paintings offered a new challenge that he thought he was up for at age eleven. Despite a very disappointing start, he didn’t give up and continued trying, often painting well into the night as a teen. Keathley later attended a small one-man show put on for a friend in his college art class and saw someone selling artwork for the first time. He was nineteen, then, and this pivotal moment struck a chord; he knew what he had to do.
Keathley’s renewed interest in painting and determination to learn more, kept him busy twelve to fourteen hours a day, six days a week, and within a year found that many folks were beginning to collect his work. “You’re so young!” they would say, for he was twenty or so, and his career had begun. In the early 1990s, he entered a couple of paintings in the Cheyenne, Wyoming “Old West Museum Show” and won a couple of awards. Keathley also attended the “Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Art Show” in Waco, Texas, and twice won the “Popular Vote Award” for two years in a row for a couple of his pieces. Everywhere he has gone, he has found high acceptance for his work, and his paintings hang in many homes around the world. His favorite collectors see his work and want to take it home because it causes them to be still and rest. “We are too busy these days,” he says, speaking about our need to slow down, sit back, and think about life.
Our kids are growing up alone, our schedules are jammed full, and there is no time to contemplate what life should be about. “I want my paintings to inspire people to be still, listen to that quiet voice, and then rise up assured that they are a part of something bigger than their schedule.” Keathley’s paintings do just that. He can capture that perfect moment that you might experience on a hike through the mountains when a majestic elk might come out for an unforgettable experience; or even immortalize on canvas a moment in time when the light, the water, and the gentle involvement of a man and his horse all come together in a masterful composition. Keathley uses his gifts blending bold strokes, fantastic color, soul-stirring light, and even some fine detail to bring your focus to the “point” of the painting — allowing you to experience the emotion of the moment.
This is where he wants you to stay – not admiring his ability but rather, being inspired to live.