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Mark Bradford, local artist & tutor

Mark Bradford is a home-grown professional artist and teacher, and we are lucky enough to host Mark’s classes here at Create98. Mark’s love of the sea is very evident in his oil paintings. But he is also influenced by abstract-expressionism and photorealism, taking his inspiration from artists such as David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Rachel Whiteread and Fiona Banner. Lets learn a little more….

How did you get started with painting ?

“As a child I had a love for the outdoors and nature, as well as drawing and painting. I found I could express myself and my surroundings visually through art.  Looking back, I can now see this was also my way of coping with my dyslexia, something which wasn’t diagnosed until into my fifties when I started my degree and teaching. I still use visual concepts to explain thought processes to my students at school and the adult classes.”

What advice would you give on how to get going with ideas and use surroundings to your advantage?

“I have always been fascinated and inspired by the sea; how it moves with the tide and different landscapes formed when the tide is out.  But you don’t have to go outdoors to be inspired.  It’s more about looking at what’s around you in the moment. Even just sitting in your local coffee shop sketching your coffee cup can be a good way of spending half an hour, practising drawing skills.

I always stress the importance of a sketchbook to my  students as a way to work out ideas.  I use the front section for drawings and sketches and from the back I jot down ideas and concepts.  This way you can experiment on a small scale and refer between both which can often result in bringing about an idea for a piece of work.”

What do you enjoy most about teaching art?

“Seeing people ‘get it’ is what I enjoy most. What I mean by this is that often as people get older, they can loose their sense of just trying something out even though it may not work, playing with ideas and different mediums. It’s important to experiment with art that may be outside your comfort zone and not always choose a subject or medium that you have always used.  Quite often people can discover a creative side they never knew they had.”

What is the best show you have seen recently and why?

“Olafur Eliasson at the Tate Modern. It was a complete sensory and immersive experience, with very little 2 dimensional art and the works contained very important messages about the environment and climate crisis. Art is a very powerful way of portraying /addressing many issues for example; global, ethical, political that can be understood on any level.”

An example of Mark’s photorealism, a painting of his daughter Sophie taking in the waves
Cracking photo of Mark with his buddies in Southend back in the day! Try to spot him…

You can follow Mark’s work on instagram @coffeetimesketch, and why not join him for Tuesday morning ‘Coffee Time Sketch’ sessions at Create98 10am-12pm, accompanied by delicious vegan cake made by Mark’s talented wife Vanessa @vbythesea63!

What People Say…

“Lovely place with friendly staff. I was amazed at how good my painting turned out!”

Bex Harper -

“Great idea. Wonderful workshops to do something different . Already booked up six workshops for next three months.😀”

Alison Pollard -

“Thoroughly enjoyed the 'Celebrating Chelsea' flower school special today, helping to create the floral installation outside the shop, together with other designs internally. Christine and her team were relaxed and helpful as were the other participants. Will be returning regularly to experience other creative courses. Thank you Create 98.”

Patsy Wiggins -

“Wanted to thank you, your team and Mark for an absolutely brilliant afternoon/evening. Everything was perfect, from the life drawing lesson to the fabulous vegan supper, eaten off of a stunningly beautifully decorated table. A lovely time had by all.”

Karen Baker - Private Party Host

“Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the flower morning on Saturday. Thank you. You have created an amazing space for a real mix of activities.”

Zena Coleman -

“I just love everything about the place! From the friendliness that immediately puts you at ease, the excellent equipment/tools for the course, the generosity of the host when prosecco is included! I really enjoy anytime I spend there.”


“Great teacher! Thank you so much! Looking forward to seeing you again xxx”

AC Millbank -

“My son is loving the A to Z classes. As a parent it is wo derful seeing his new creations after each session. A fantastic opportunity for budding artists”

Kate Williams -

“Great idea. Wonderful workshops to do something different . Already booked up six workshops for next three months.?”

Alison Pollard - Workshop participant

“EVERYTHING is spot on. This is the most fantastic place and I cannot wait to book in for more events. You really have nailed it with the content, the staff, the venue, the refreshments. Thankyou!”

Maddie - Benfleet