Jean Mulleian
Jean Mulleian
It was during this period in the young artist’s life, while living with his stepmother Jean Mulleian and his three brothers, the thirteen-year-old artist acquired his first easel from his step-grandmother Lola Clark. Lola Clark’s daughter, Jean Mulleian, married G. Mark Mulleian’s father in 1954 and became the artist stepmother when the artist was seven years old. The easel originally belonged to William Clark, husband of Lola Clark and father of Jean Mulleian. William Clark was a painter and naturalist in the early 1900s. Inspired by the beauty of Northern California landscapes, he painted the mountainous terrain and the people who populated it. This William Clark was the direct descended of William Clark, Sr., (August 1, 1770 – September 1, 1838), American explorer, soldier, Indian agent, and Missouri territorial governor from 1813-20. William Clark, Sr. was also the legendary American explorer of the 1803-05 Lewis and Clark Expedition, making Jean Mulleian the great-, great-, great-granddaughter of the legendary historical figure.
Later, upon returning from Vietnam in 1969, Mulleian would be discovered by Leonard Roy Frank who would introduce the artist’s work to the public, featuring Mulleian’s first exhibition with Benny Bufano in 1969 and the 1970’s at the Frank Gallery in San Francisco. This would eventually bring Mulleian’s work to the public attention on a national and international scale.
This hundred-year-old easel established a perfect silent relationship and vital support to Mulleian in perfecting his art. In his early formative years and in his early teens as a young artist in the early 1960’s he worked an average of sixteen-hour sessions in complete isolation in his home studio. From early evening and well into the night and on through the early morning hours of the next day, the self taught artist trained himself on this easel seven days a week, further refining his skill while discovering new techniques. Concurrently during his high school days, Mulleian was practicing his skills on another easel in a second studio, Bungalow Eight, a studio space provided to him under the protection of such teachers as Mr. Danielson, Mrs. Marilyn Clarke, Mr. George and counsel members at Lincoln High School. Here he would continue painting and combining his knowledge and skills, eventually leading one of his teachers to introduce Mulleian to artist/colleagues in there North Beach studios.
Mark Mulleian's first childhood experience of Chico California in 1953.
Lewis and Clark and an Artist's Easel