But none of these positions and accomplishments describe the sometimes maddening, other times uproarious character whose great passion, in a nutshell, was to give artists “the tools to distinguish… quality art materials from junk.” And he pursued that passion with blunt words, ferocious wit, the joie de vivre of a balloon-popper, and hard fastidious research.
To both friends and enemies, he could be cantankerous, corny, generous, wise, abrasive, sentimental, brash, fearless, supportive, authoritative, authoritarian, and almost always brilliant. We are all creatures of complex parts that most of us tend to hide. Mark wore his complexity as an exoskeleton. He let it all out.
To me he was one of a kind, a great influence, an unforgettable friend whom I will greatly miss (along with his personal pepper shaker that he always took to restaurants with him).