Mark Gilstrap

I’m a visual artist who has lived and worked in Long Beach for many years. I usually incorporate the figure into my work; I often work in a series approach; drawing sisters, for example, is a favorite theme of mine, paintings of architectural structures is another.

Regardless of the subject, composition tends to be my focus. I draw real life imagery, but alter proportions, perspective and color a bit, for the sake of both design and expression. Hopefully, the temperament, content and mood is reflected through the composition and the look of a particular piece. I try to use the formal properties to propel the meanings and mood in the artwork .

I’m primarily a painter, but recently I’ve been working on a series of drawings in color pencil about Blacks and the workplace. It is a theme that has been explored by many Black artists from folk artists to Masters; It’s a topic that lends itself to vast interpretations.



Contact Information

Mark Gilstrap
(562) 256-4308

Artist Links



Artist Work

Mathematician (2020)
color pencil, 9" x 12" From my recent series. I drew from random "workers"- whose jobs and lives I had some familiarity with, or wanted to explore or highlight. I had fun with the linear perspective, the mishmash of flat and modeled forms in this particular drawing.

Carreon Sisters (2019)
color pencil 15" x 20". Two sisters: very different personalities - same high school, colleges, degrees and career path. I tried to slightly shift the styles and nuances throughout the drawing.

Mona en Versailles (2018)
watercolor 10" x 14". A fantastical/ wish fulfillment/ metaphor, so to speak.