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.”
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!