Sheffield Artist Mark H Wilson
Here we are again, bringing to you our very latest “Fellow Sheffield Creatives” feature, who is it this time?, it’s Sheffield Artist Mark H Wilson that’s who!
Mark’s work is brooding, atmospheric and needless to say we love it? So it was time to ask Mark a few questions about his work, life and what inspires him.
Volta: Who or what inspired you to do what you do?
Mark: Visiting a Van Gogh exhibition at the Graves Art Gallery with my parents when I was a toddler. Since then, I’ve always wanted to paint. My father taught me the basics, perspective, drawing techniques, mixing paint etc. He was a teacher by profession and painted himself.
Volta: What did you do before you did what you do now?
Mark: I’ve been a self employed artist since 2007. I’ve also had many and varied jobs alongside being an artist including working on restoring Tram 132 for the Streetlife Museum in Hull, a sign writer and painter for an antique painted furniture company, a stainless steel band saw operative and an artisan baker. I make great bread.
Volta: How did your current style develop and how do you see it developing in the future?
Mark: Moving to an area that overlooked the city from a distance, I was immediately influenced by the vivid colour in the sunsets, sunrises and storm skies over the city which inspired so many early paintings. I then began looking for other dramatic viewpoints such as my Tinsley Towers series from Kimberworth and the city from Meersbrook.
My aim is to adopt a painterly, abstracted, expressive way of painting to depict familiar places in a suggestive almost illusionary way.
As for development, I’m always looking out for new subject matter which is why I use my digital camera, so easy to carry about and capture a sudden, unexpected moment that can inspire a new series of paintings.
Volta: You’re not originally from Sheffield, why did you decide to settle here?
Mark: I was born in Sheffield but raised in Rotherham.
After living in Hull and Sussex, I eventually settled here in 2000 after meeting my wife Irene who worked at the Mappin Art Gallery, a sadly missed venue that used to host many fantastic contemporary art exhibitions.
Volta: What influence has living in Sheffield had on your creativity and how you approach your work?
Mark: I have to give a massive thanks to The Great Sheffield Art Show, Open Up Sheffield and Art in the Gardens. The people who run these fantastic events have been so supportive of my art and have enabled me to display and bring my work to the attention of the people of Sheffield and beyond.
Volta: If you could choose a famous person to own one of your pieces of work, who would it be?
Mark: Well. Most of my heroes I grew up with are now dead so I’ll go for Bob Dylan. There was a joint display of my floral paintings and Bob’s prints at Castle Gallery, Meadowhall which was cool. He’s a great musician but not such a good painter.
Volta: What piece of your own work gives you the most satisfaction and why?
Mark: A painting I did recently entitled ‘Manchester’. So many people loved it and would have bought it but didn’t because it was Manchester not Sheffield! Anyway, someone saw beyond the regional prejudice and bought the painting as an artwork in its own right, regardless of the city depicted.
Also, my painting ‘Sheffield From Meersbrook Park’ which is on display at Weston Park Museum gives me a lot of satisfaction. I feel so honoured to be a part of Museums Sheffield’s collection.
Volta: Do other areas of creativity, such as music, have any influence on your work?
Mark: Definitely. I love listening to audiobooks, dramas, poetry when I’m painting. And music of course, a very wide and varied selection; punk, jazz, psychedelic, garage rock etc. etc.
Volta: If you could lay claim to one piece of creative work in any area what would it be and why?
Mark: So so many, but I’d love ‘Nighthawks’ by Edward Hopper on my wall. I love Hopper’s sense of isolation, light and mystery.
Volta: What is your favourite thing about Sheffield?
Mark: The surrounding hills which provide so many great views of the city and all the lovely people who like my paintings enough to buy them.
Sheffield Artist Mark H Wilson
Want to find out a little more about Sheffield Artist Mark H Wilson and his work?
Here are links to his website and social media channels – enjoy!
View our previous Fellow Sheffield Creatives