Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Mark Missman spent many hours throughout his youth in museums studying the painting techniques of the masters. From the third grade when he was taught to draw in perspective, his first taste of Realism, Mark’s artistic passion was awakened and his destiny became apparent.
His formal art education began at Northwest Missouri State in Marysville, Missouri. At age twenty-one Mark made a commitment to live the spiritual life of a monk and for the next eighteen years his artistic endeavors were nurtured by his spiritual order, as he was given abundant opportunities for advanced study and worldwide travel while devoting many hours a day to painting.
After studying at a private academy in Florence, Italy, Mark returned to the U.S. and was offered a full scholarship to the New York Academy of Art, but after meeting master sculptor Angelo Frudakis, he opted to attend the Frudakis Academy of Classic Realism in Philadelphia instead. His studies continued at the Barnstone Studios in Pennsylvania, before becoming the Art Director at the Palace of Gold in Wheeling, West Virginia. Mark was heavily involved in creating the ambiance of the opulent Palace of Gold including large murals for West Virginia’s largest tourist attraction, the subject of numerous articles in publications such as the Washington Post and Time Magazine. Upon seeing Mark’s two twenty-foot murals that had been commissioned for the Wheeling Civic Center, then Governor Jay Rockefeller remarked that they were, “extraordinary and beautiful… works of art rarely seen in this country today.” After his world traveling, Mark felt drawn to Southern California, where he broadened his art education still further by attending the Athenaeum School of Art in La Jolla and the Watts Atelier in San Diego.