The presence and absence of light is the most fundamental concept behind all my paintings. Although often diffused or obscured, it permeates even the heaviest of skies, giving hope and acting as an uplifting counterpoint to dark, mysterious seas. Feelings of insignificance and isolation are instilled by the vast depth and scale of these two elements. The horizon also plays a critical role; the eye is naturally drawn to it, striving to make sense of its infinite space. Although it is normally best described by the apparent meeting of sea and sky, it is often indistinct or entirely lost, and while our logical mind attempts to find it, we are drawn into and through the scene.
The compositional components of light, water, land and sky lend themselves naturally to abstraction, which spontaneous and rapid marks help to capture; deciding which of these should remain is an integral and constant part of the process. Seascapes usually change quickly; shifting clouds cause differing reflections and refractions of light, immediately transforming a myriad shades and colours. These changes induce a constantly evolving emotional response to the subject, allowing it to be explored again and again. The application and removal of many layers of paint provides depth, until a balanced and coherent image emerges. Sketches and small colour studies made on location lead to larger studio based pieces, and working on board allows for an aggressive use of palette knife and oil paint.
Born in 1972, many of Mark's most vivid childhood memories were formed during his annual visits to the Cornish coast. He studied painting at Norwich School of Art and Design, graduating in 1997 with a Fine Art B.A.(Hons.) degree. His painting has been influenced through travel and having lived for three years amongst the dramatic landscapes of the Limousin region of France, where he opened a gallery exhibiting his own paintings. He now lives in St. Ives, Cornwall, where he continues to be inspired by his immediate surroundings, painting from his studio there on a full time basis.