Mook in Color: New Brincefield website debuts – Salisbury Post


By Susan Shinn Turner
For the Salisbury post

The seven Brincefield boys are all talented in many ways, but Mark?

Ah, Mark is of a different race, his brothers say.

For years Mark has shared his fabulous watercolors with extended family and friends. Now he’s about to share them with the world – the World Wide Web, that is.

With the help of his family, got its start. Discover his body work over the past 30 years. Categories include Salisbury, Charlotte, Landscape, Farms, People, Still Life and Floral and Holidays.

The family is especially excited about Mark’s new category of art: colleges and universities. He completed entrance to Appalachian State University and The Old Well at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Plans are underway to add iconic scenes from campuses such as Catawba College, UNC-G and NC State. He also painted Kidd Brewer Stadium in App State.

Do you have a request? Let Mark know. You can purchase high quality prints of these and other works on the website. You can also purchase the original college artwork.

The family led the charge on the website: Mark producing the artwork; his niece, Sallie Aceto, creating the website; and his three older brothers, Bill, 75, John, 73, and Mike, 70, being the lead investors.

“I’m just on the art side,” Mark notes. “I’m not so much motivated by money as by painting a good picture.”

“Mark has always been such a talent,” says Mike, a real estate agent. “I used his postcards for my publicity. His work was so amazing. He has all these works of art and he’s not one to go out and sell them. So we’ve been talking about this project for some time.

With the exception of college and university coins, most of what you’ll see on the website has already sold out, although as noted, you can purchase prints.

The owners of the art lent them to Bill – an amateur photographer – who meticulously unframed the art, photographed it in his home studio, then cropped it and returned it to the owners. Talk about a labor of love.

Bill is not complaining.

“It gave me the chance to see so many things that I didn’t know Mark had ever painted,” he says.

In total, the brothers collected over 100 pieces for the website. The art dates back to 1992 and the last piece was completed in September, Mark says. He mainly works in watercolour.

As you click on each painting, a caption appears, along with ordering information.

“My brother Bill’s wife, Lydia, wrote the captions at some business lunches,” says Mark.

Sallie has a degree in graphic design and commerce from the App State. She and her husband, Bill, live in Boone and have two children, 5 and 3. She works on a limited freelance basis.

“My role was to figure out how to put his collection online so people could buy it,” she says. “We created from scratch.”

A company named Artspan fulfills the orders.

“Once an order is placed, we see that, but Artspan takes care of the printing, framing if desired, and shipping,” says Sallie.

She adds, “When you visit the homepage, it’s amazing to see all of his talent on display.”

Mark’s love for music also translates into his art.

“I painted wild pictures of these musicians so I could throw some paint around and have fun,” he says. “These are my influences and my heroes growing.”

There are portraits of jazz musicians Thelonious Monk and Dave Brubeck, and rock legends Dr. John, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

“I try to steer clear of well-known musicians,” says Mark, “but I picked these because I was a fan.”

The other thing you need to know about Mark: “I just made them for me. I never intended to sell them.

Of course he decided and they sold out quickly.

Mark also has fans.

“My stepson is a music promoter in Charleston,” Mike says, “so he knows a lot of these guys. I gave them to him as a gift.

“It was fun,” Mark notes of the series. “It was a different way of painting than before.”

Then it was time to move on.

He painted old barns in the county that he knew wouldn’t exist for very long.

“There are some really good ones,” he says. “Just go get them. Some of them have disappeared since I painted them.

Another new project is for Bill and Bill’s son, Andy, in their offices in Charlotte.

“I’m the only one who left Salisbury,” said Bill, who at 75 is the older brother.

There is a 15 year age difference between Bill and Jim, 60. Ed is 62 and Mark is 65. Joe, who was two years younger than Mike, died two years ago of liver cancer. Another brother, Timothy Mark, died a few days after his birth on September 10, 1956.

Fifteen years ago, Bill retired from the company he founded, Consolidated Planning, a financial planning firm with offices in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia. It’s now the largest financial planning firm in the Southeast, Bill says, with offices in more than 20 cities.

Mark has been commissioned to create a painting of North Carolina and another 48-inch by 48-inch patriotic piece, which will hang at the end of a long hallway.

It will be an American flag, but with “Mook” touches.

“However, he thinks about these things, they still come out great,” Bill says.

Why buy original works of art?

“For us, our goal in business is to perform at our best and do quality work for our clients,” says Bill.

This results in the presentation of quality local art.

“It says a lot about your business when you have original artwork,” notes Bill. “It makes you quite unique. It’s a way to keep this talent in the family. It’s nice to walk around our offices and see my brother’s works. Now there is a chance to spread the word and let others know.

John gave his grandson Bo a watercolor of the youngster blocking a punt. He is part of the Jayvee team at Salisbury High School.

“We go to a baseball game every Thursday night,” says John.

Former Senator Elizabeth Dole recently received the original watercolor illustration of her two miniature schnauzers, Leader and Blazer, which appears in the Holiday issue of Salisbury The Magazine to accompany her profile.

“I was delighted to receive Mark Brincefield’s original illustrations of my two schnauzers, Blazer and Leader, for Salisbury the Magazine. He captured their personalities in such detail, how Blazer’s ear is cocked to the side! I will always treasure this gift,” she said.

Bill’s sons, Neil and Andy, created emails to be sent through the Brincefield family network, alerting acquaintances that the website would soon be up and running. There have already been buyers.

The website also advertises in the Holiday issue of Salisbury the Magazine, a kind of public launch.

His whole family encourages him.

“Mark is arguably the most talented Brincefield – probably ever,” says Bill. “He paints, he makes cartoons and he plays guitar, banjo and keyboards.”

“He made his own banjo,” adds John. “He’s got crazy talent.”

Bill’s earliest memory of Mark’s creativity dates back to when his brother was making comic books in high school, painting each image individually.

This is where Mook, his alter ego, was born.

John says he is often mistaken for his artist brother when someone hears his last name.

“We’re all immensely proud of Mark,” he says, “for everything he’s done and the talent he has.”

Mike recognizes that he is the brother who holds the rest of the family together. Their parents died nine months apart, Mr Brincefield on July 25, 2008 and Mrs Brincefield on April 30, 2009.

Bill, John and Mike – the oldest three – meet frequently for lunch, he says. “And I am in regular contact with the younger brothers.”

He adds: “We want Mark to succeed no matter what. It’s a different breed. He was always different, not in a negative way. Just extraordinary in terms of his abilities. We want to help her as much as we can.

“I’ve seen his art over the past 38 years,” says Sallie. “Now we want to show it to the world. is ready to be visited, browsed and found something they love. We will continue to add new artwork as he completes projects and commissions. We are excited about the university projects he is working on and we are excited to work together. This has been an added bonus in that it has brought our family closer together.

About the artist


Art has been part of Mark’s life for as long as he can remember. He remembers drawing with crayons when his grandmother showed him how to mix red and yellow to get orange.

He has always drawn cartoons, first in elementary school just for fun, then for the college newspaper and today publishes editorial cartoons in the local newspaper.

Mark is particularly fond of mixing colors in his watercolors and using different techniques to achieve the desired results.

A musician himself, Mark enjoys painting musicians he admires, usually depicting them playing their instruments.

Nature often inspires her work, whether it’s an autumn landscape or her cat sleeping on a chair. He continually rises to the challenge of coming up with new ideas, perhaps just twisting the envelope a bit to add new excitement to a favorite topic.

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