Mark Hope is an artist who's work immediately caught my eye. Mark is 54 years old and was born in Toronto and he now makes his home in Wasaga Beach, Ontario.
Like many artists, he was born with 'the gift' and it made itself known to him early in his childhood. And in case there may be any doubt on the matter, Mark writes:
" Ever since single digits I remember doing some kind of art. I remember drawing my cat Sam sleeping in a rocking chair, gladiolas in a vase. I couldn't have been more than 9 or 10 when I was doing this. I preferred oil pastels or pencil crayons back then. As a very young teenager I remember sitting at the kitchen table drawing stylized faces using a baby jar lid as a template for the head shape. The fun was in making them as different as possible....hours of fun there. Later I remember sitting quietly alone in my bedroom drawing and painting while listening to 'Boston'. I'd draw and paint anything. Tennis balls, crushed coke cans, aviator sunglasses. I remember doing this day after day...unless I was outside playing ball hockey. I remember going to the museum and seeing people sketching the suits of armor...I wanted to do that!! I remember doing an oil painting of A Y Jackson from a newspaper clipping reporting his death in the newspaper. I took art all through junior high school right up to grade 13. At the end of Grade 13 I won the Art award for excellence."
Mark hasn't strayed far from his first love throughout his life journey. He works in an art supply store in Barrie (about 100km north of Toronto), and he has taught classes in oil painting, during his adult years. And, in between times, he has worked for the government and been involved with the many things that go along with married and single life.
Mark is a landscape artist who has a passion for painting scenes from northern Ontario. But this doesn't stop him from painting still life work, and figurative nudes - not to mention his most recent industrial still life study.
I am impressed by Mark's artistic energy. He admits to knocking off between 80 and 100 works a year. Most impressive! Mark's formal art education ended with high school but he has supplemented it by taking a few workshops and courses along the way. But, for the most part, he admits to being a 'self taught' artist.
Mark finds himself drawn to the works of both French and Canadian Impressionists, And for good measure he throws in the works of classical painters like Vermeer, Rembrandt, Leonardo. with his favourites being Degas, Monet, Pissarro, Salvatore Dali, Lawren Harris, and John Singer Sargent
Mark's works hang in a cooperative gallery in Creemore Ontario and he has participated in many art shows most notably in the "Purple Hills Studio Tour". He most recently applied for his works to be shown at the Toronto Outdoor Show at the Toronto City Hall, and he has 2 solo shows planned for this coming summer and a studio tour as a guest artist in October.
In between times, he enjoys taking trips into northern Ontario and he usually comes back with about 20 or so pleine aire sketches. "I often use them for larger paintings in the studio."
A busy man, indeed.
Mark's works can be found in the Mad and Noisy Gallery in Creemore, Ontario. Please click here.
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