Artist of the Month February 2017
Each month we choose one artist represented on our website to be our Artist of the Month. For February 2017 we've selected Mark Lloyd. Mark's work is driven by his passion for trains, stations, cars and roads, which inspire his colourful perspective drawings. Mark is an artist in the ArtStudio01 collective run by acclaimed artist Tanya Raabe-Webber. As his mentor and creative enabler, Tanya has supported Mark to answer the following questions.
When and how did your interest in art develop?
Mark first began drawing when he was seven years old, when he went on family holidays and outings. He took an interest in drawing pictures of the motorways, service stations and trains he visited and traveled on.
What influences your art?
"Visiting places on trains, service stations, motorways, cars, lights, colours, lines and patterns."
What process do you go through when you are creating a piece of work?
Mark draws from memories of the journeys he's been on, the places he's visited and from photos he's taken on his digital camera. He picks his next picture to work on and starts with drawing it up with either black marker pen, pencil or watercolour pens. At home he works in an A4 sketchbook and when his drawing is finished he takes it out of the sketchbook and keeps it in an ordered pile ready to show. These most recently made drawings remain very precious to Mark as he shows them to us in the studio, under his inspection of course! In the studio Mark's process is more about experimenting with new media. He chooses a photo from his own collection of photos that he's taken, sets himself at his easel and begins. At present Mark is using either pencil or black drawing pens to draw up the outline of his piece working on A1 watercolour paper. He has just begun to use watercolour paints and is enjoying the full range of colours as he uses them straight from the pan. Mark sings and chats away to himself quietly as he paints!
Which artists, if any, have you drawn inspiration from?
Mark is a self taught artist. Mark has a passion for trains and is very knowledgable about this subject. He reads and is influenced by what he sees in train magazines.
Do you have a favourite piece? If so, which one and why?
"Nutsford Service Sation and motorway."
What do you hope the viewer gets from your work?
"I hope they like it."
What has been the highlight of your artistic career?
"Exhibiting my work at St Gorges Hospital Stafford and people looking at it. Going to ArtStudio01 to paint trains."
Has being a part of Outside In been beneficial for you? If so, how?
Yes it's been very beneficial. Mark was awarded a Grants for the Arts award by Arts Council England and National Lottery in 2015 to explore new contexts in his work through cultural visits; to explore new materials through mentoring with leading disability artist Tanya Raabe-Webber and to begin to showcase his 35 year archive of his own drawings that he's been creating since he was 7 years old. Outside In have been a great support to Mark and his project by raising his online profile and giving Mark direct feedback on his work in person when Jennifer came to visit Mark at ArtStudio01 in Shrewsbury last year.
What is next for you as an artist?
Mark is now an artist in the ArtStudio01 collective based in Shrewsbury. An inclusive studio based group of learning disabled and non-disabled artists set up and run by acclaimed artist Tanya Raabe-Webber. Mark continues to develop his professional arts practice alongside six other artists. His work is presently on exhibition 21 January - .25 February at Project Ability Glasgow alongside four other artists. The Artists of The West Midlands: A New World co-curated by Project Ability and Tanya Raabe-Webber. Mark will also be joining the group Take6: a cultural exchange trip 22 February- 25 February with the artists of the exhibition to Project Ability and Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries also Funded by Arts Council England and Lottery.