Here’s one more contribution from the legacy of printed paper that Jeff Bezos will not be bringing to the global cultural inheritance any time soon: Fabulous portraits and hand-drawn life drawings done on old newspapers, printed pages, letters, and other found or abandoned paper surfaces.

These are the creations of artist Mark Powell, frequently executed in ballpoint, and often incorporating the texture of the underlying newsprint or other document into the final artwork. Just look at the texture of the topographical map in the piece below, for example, and how it fits into the portrait.


“Both the canvas he uses and the faces he draws offer a mysterious story. They carry the scars of travel, a life lived,” reads the artist’s own introduction.  “He tries to catch a certain beauty that is a step away from the image of beauty fed to society that you see today.”

Digital ink may be a new medium for art in its own right, but there clearly is plenty of creative life left in the old kinds of ink – whether written, drawn, or printed. Enjoy.


  1. Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post now, so indeed he can bring us these canvases! And I agree with the point of the article. I love computers, but there’s something magical and reassuringly real about physical art.

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