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Mark Kemp Bayless


I am an abstract contemporary sculptor working with stone, steel and wood. 

I am a painter working in both watercolor and acrylic mediums.

My work is about transformation, redemption and rebirth.  I work intuitively, letting the material lead and guide me to the finality of the piece.  I see a blank canvas or a sheet of paper and by adding lines and color, I transform it into something of beauty.  I breathe/infuse my creative spirit into whatever I am working on.  There is a dance that I participate in that changes me as an artist and the object(s) I see before me.   


Some of my sculptures are made from burned chunks of trees that have been ravaged by forest fires and are covered with a layer of charcoal.  I scrape away the outer layer of charcoal and then carve and transform the wood into an object that is beautiful, graceful, rich and glowing.  

I work with both natural stone and processed granite, soapstone or marble.  I acquire twisted and rusted steel from metal recycling facilities.  I obtain dimensional lumber left over from building projects.  I am constantly on the hunt for unusual materials or objects that have been cast off into the desert.  I take immense pleasure in transforming or re-purposing materials into objects of beauty. 

In addition to the stone, steel and forest-fire-burned timber sculptures, I have created a body of polychrome wood sculptures that I refer to as the ‘Guardians’.  These pieces came to me, and come to me, requesting that I bring them into a physical reality.  They direct all aspects of their manifestations; size, form, color, etc.

As a painter, I enjoy the process of transforming the lifeless flat white surface of a canvas or a sheet of watercolor paper into a depiction of my creative psyche or spirit.


I really have no desire to explain the meaning or message(s) of what I create.  I leave that up to the viewer. 


As an artist, I have been inspired by the work of Ursula Von Rydingsvard and Andy Goldsworthy.

Over my lifetime, I have worked in several mediums and have exhibited in many galleries throughout the Western United States.  My work is in several private collections.  In 1996 I created a monumental sculpture in Tempe, Arizona as part of their Art in Public Spaces program.   In 2015 I was chosen as an Artist in Residence at the Petrified Forest National Park. .In 2015 I had a one man show of my paintings at the Sage Brush Gallery of the Freemont Indian State Park, in Sevier, Utah.   In January and February of 2018 I exhibited two of my sculptures in the 'Earth' exhibit at the Tubac Center of the Arts, Tubac, Arizona, and was given a Merit Award for one of my pieces.  In 2018 and 2019, I exhibited several of my sculptures at the SculptureTucson exhibit in Tucson, Arizona.  In November of 2019 I exhibitied one of my watercolor/ink line paintings in the Aqueous IIIIV show at the Tubac Center of the Arts. 

I have studied art and design at San Diego State College, Brigham Young University, University of Utah and Arizona State University.  I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis on design from Brigham Young University.

I currently reside in the foothills of west Cave Creek, Arizona with my wife, son and miniature Queensland Heeler.  We are avid hikers on the trails just outside our door.  My wife and I are members and instructors of a primitive skills community.  My studio is located in North Scottsdale, Arizona.   

Contact Information:

Mark Kemp Bayless

P.O. Box 114

Cave Creek, Az 85327-0114

480 241 9554 

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