Mark Stanford started school on the East Coast of Florida in the mid-1960s. He remembers how Florida used to look before all the construction and development. Mark apprenticed to become a goldsmith in Vero Beach in 1981. After 12 years, Mark felt the need to help people and went to college; he graduated with honors and went to work as a case manager for the State of Florida to help families in crisis. After several years, Mark began to paint to use his creative talent. He missed using his creative talent as a goldsmith. He started out painting the Florida Mark remembered as a child and later started painting the current Florida landscapes. His intention with painting was just for his own home, but as people saw them, they started offering to buy them and commissioned Mark to paint for them. Over time, Mark began to paint full time.