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After graduating from Amersham school of art in 1981 I went into a career in advertising and marketing and earned my living working as an art director until i left the advertising industry to pursue my ambition of becoming a professional artist.
I started painting in 2001 and was elected member of The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists in 2007, I’m also a member of Buckinghamshire Art Society and Oxford Art Society.
I'm a self taught painter and work predominantly in oils, specialising in portrait and figurative work. Commissions to date include Antony Worrall Thompson and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham. I also enjoy the challenge of painting outdoors, working at speed to capture fleeting clouds or a setting sun. The light changes so fast and the most dramatic effects can disappear in minutes!
One of my self portraits was shortlisted out of nearly 10,000 entries for the Daily Mail ‘Not the Turner Prize’ and exhibited at The Mall Galleries, London (2005). In the same year I also featured on ITV’s ‘A Brush With Fame’, and my portrait of Antony Worrall Thompson was chosen as his favourite. In 2012 my portrait of Len was awarded The Artists and Illustrators Artist of the Year West Design prize and the peoples choice award. My work was selected in 2014 and 2018 for The Artist and Leisure Painter competition Patchings Exhibition and my portrait of Sir Walter. J. Wallis, was awarded highly commended in 2013. My work has been selected for exhibition with The Royal Society of Portrait Painters at the Mall galleries London on three occasions.
I'm currently running regular courses with The Henley school of art as well as workshops and demonstrations mainly in in the south east of England within an 80 mile radius of my home in Brill Buckinghamshire. I’ve also been running courses in the Costa blanca Spain over the past 2 years and from this summer onwards i will teaching in at ' Arts holiday Italy ‘ in Tuscany.
As a professional associate member of the SAA I can offer the full support and learning benefits that come from an art society with over 43000 members.
I’m available to run the following workshops and demonstrations:-
Portrait painting in oils - demonstrating and teaching how to capture a realistic and expressive likeness of a sitter from life or photographic reference. Portrait painting in acrylics - demonstrating and teaching how to paint a bold expressive head and shoulders portrait from photographic reference. Portrait drawing in charcoal - demonstrating and teaching how to draw a head and shoulders portrait life or photographic reference. Pet portraits in oils or acrylics - demonstrating and teaching how to paint a pet portrait from photographic reference. Impasto portrait painting in oils - demonstrating and teaching how to paint a bold dynamic portrait with palette knives from photographic reference. Plein air landscape painting in oils - demonstrating and teaching how to quickly capture a dramatic landscape under fast changing light conditions. Still life painting in oils - demonstrating and teaching how to bring a static subject to life in an expressive loose painterly manner. Art critique workshops. My aim is to help artists see how their artwork can be improved and developed in a positive and constructive way as well as understand how their work may be perceived by the viewer.
Based in Bucks I am happy to travel to groups in Buckinghamshire and surrounding counties.
Testimonial : Thank you Mark for last night’s demonstration. What a brilliant start to Ricky Art Society’s new programme! Your oil painting portrait of Mick captured the essence of him from the start - and as he emerged before our eyes, we were spellbound. It was interesting that you decided to use a limited palette (Zorn) , which is comparatively new to you, but it was a great success. Very impressive. It was like there were two Micks in the room. We enjoyed your clear and informative teaching style; this, together with your enthusiastic approach throughout the session kept us enthralled from start to finish. The members of our society have commented on how much they enjoyed the demonstration and how impressed they were with the likeness you captured. Thank you also for bringing along other examples of your work. The general opinion was that you were the best portrait demonstrator that we have had. We will definitely be contacting you again for another demo and hopefully for a workshop or two. Barbara Burrows Chair, Ricky Art Society.
For more information please visit his website www.markfennell.co.uk