Mark Powell, who was first known for his ballpoint pen portraits and illustrations of birds and people on vintage envelopes, has recently expanded his practice to include old maps as another form of canvas. The roads and areas that already exist on the map help bring life and dimension to Powell’s drawings by adding a sense of texture. Powell chooses to draw on paper with historical marks in hopes that his works create a deeper meaning or story for those who view it. “They compliment each other and I hope leads the viewer to wonder, and maybe create, a history for the two,” said Powell. “I rarely connect the portrait and canvas as they are both strangers to me”.
He leaves the interpretation completely open to the viewer. The time each piece take Powell to finish can vary from a couple hours to a few months depending on the size and detail of the illustration.