Mark Waterbury hesitates to call himself an artist. As he sees it, that’s a title reserved for people who are making a living from their art. That’s not Mark. For him, art has always been more of a side hustle. Something he did for himself first and a paycheck second. But that isn’t to say he hasn’t made some money from things he’s made. And not just a little scratch, but real money. Enough to buy things like a BMW 850i, a killer camper van and even his place at the foothills of Mount Baker in Glacier, WA.
“I saved all the money I made from selling these birdhouses and eventually I bought this place,” Mark says. “But, it was pretty cheap.”
It is a single-wide in the Glacier Rim gated community. It’s a humble abode, sure, but it’s his. And for the last 14 years, it has slowly transformed into one elaborate art installation.
“There’s so many things,” Mark says. “The closer you look, the more you will see.”
Mark’s giving me a tour of the property and doing his best to point out everything he’s made, installed, sculpted or otherwise manifested over the years. Imagine if Dr. Seuss, Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher came together to collaborate on a cabin in the woods. That’s Mark’s place. Every nook and cranny has some little sculpture or cairn or catwalk of a deck wrapped around it. Instead of gravel, the ground is covered in nuts. There’s at least one plastic monkey swinging from a tree and several of Mark’s ornate birdhouses. The place is just oozing with art, so I press him on the idea of being an artist…