The empty canvas excites and frightens me. Confronting that space and applying paint is an intense, mentally stimulating process. It's also a journey with an unknown destination as I never know exactly how a painting will end up. The process is full of risk and potential disaster ! But having spent many years making films, I like the fact that painting only involves myself and the canvas - no cameramen, editors, actors, or the weather to blame !
I use different starting points that can be quite random. Sometimes a sketch, sometimes a photograph. I like to begin with monochrome photos or drawings often (but not always) of interior shapes and forms - the world I inhabit.
I start to add colour as a separate, non-representational element so that the painting takes on an abstract life of its own. I interact with the painting adding impulsive gestures and colour to create a lively and sometimes contradictory dialogue between apparent depth and the flat canvas or plywood surface that results in a playful dance of colour, shape and space. Geometric shapes and line bring order to the disorder of ‘loose’ brushwork, a kind of framing device not unlike looking through a viewfinder.
I hope the paintings convey a sense of being partly of the world we recognise, but also tantalisingly outside of it, familiar yet unexplored. Most of the paintings take their names from classic songs I enjoy, often whilst painting.
Mark studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College London and then the Royal College of Art. He worked as studio assistant to artist Michael Craig-Martin and went on to make films on the arts including FREEZE for the BBC, the first TV documentary on Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas and other 'YBA'S'. Further film subjects included Carl Andre, Richard Hamilton, Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh and many others. Inspired by a personal connection with many leading artistic figures, Mark began to paint himself and is influenced by a wide range of painting from Cézanne to Picasso, Matisse, Léger, Corbusier the Abstract Expressionists and Pop.