“Art has always been my passion right from an early age.”
Embarking on a Journey of Artistic Expression
From an early age, the allure of art captivated Mark Stopforth. Memories from his childhood feature prominently the pride reflected in his mother’s eyes as she displayed a youthful portrait, albeit adorned with crayon smudges and stick fingers, on their home walls. In pursuit of his passion, Stopforth delved into the world of Fine Art at Cardiff University. Here, he initially specialized in sculptures and installations during the early 1990s. However, the artist soon acknowledged his inclination towards drawing and painting, steering his creative focus in that direction.
Mark’s artistic taste profoundly aligns with the Sublime and Romantic art of the 18th and 19th centuries. He finds inspiration in the works of masters such as Turner, Bierstadt, John Martin, and Delacroix. The journey towards becoming an artist did not commence with a singular epiphanic moment for him; rather, this yearning has been deeply ingrained within his psyche. The Covid lockdown marked a pivotal period in his career, as increased public interest in art afforded Stopforth the opportunity and confidence to embrace his vocation fully.
Mark Stopforth: Fostering a Distinctive Artistic Style
Mark Stopforth’s work presents a dynamic interplay between semi-abstract depictions of turbulent skyscapes and seascapes and the tranquility of intimate still lifes. In the latter, the depicted objects seamlessly blend into their backgrounds. Every theme the artist explores resonates with the sublime elements found in nature, capturing moments that are simultaneously awe-inspiring, transient, and eternal.
To create such captivating pieces, Mark’s workspace is equipped with essentials that include good natural daylight, a sturdy worktable, a heater, and soundproof doors. He skillfully manages distractions by enveloping himself in the auditory embrace of podcasts or music. These auditory elements serve as a form of white noise, facilitating an immersive environment conducive to his painting.
A Tapestry of Influences: Navigating Inspirations
Mark Stopforth’s artistic landscape is richly populated by a myriad of influences, ranging from the classical to the contemporary. Turner, Bierstadt, Caravaggio, and Whistler are just a few of the luminaries that have left an indelible mark on his creative psyche. Among the multitude, Maggi Hambling’s “Maelstrom” currently holds a place of prominence in his artistic sensibilities.
A piece that resonates deeply with Stopforth is Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ.” The artist finds himself captivated by Caravaggio’s masterful use of Chiaroscuro and the theatrical ambiance pervading the painting. The dramatic interplay between light and dark in these works has significantly influenced his own creations, echoing in the thematic and stylistic choices he makes.
Mark Stopforth: Medium and Aspirations
In his artistic endeavors, Mark Stopforth predominantly employs oil paint, favoring the “alla prima” or wet-on-wet technique. This method, characterized by its rapid and intuitive nature, enables the artist to capture the vibrancy and luminescence of the oils. While Stopforth feels a natural affinity towards this technique, he also expresses an interest in experimenting with egg tempera due to its comparable qualities.
Mark harbors ambitions of undertaking a dream project that involves crafting large-scale artworks. This aspiration is inspired by the monumental grandeur observed in Rothko’s creations. By juxtaposing his own signature style with the magnificence of such scale, Stopforth aims to continue his exploration of the sublime and contribute a distinctive voice to the ongoing dialogue in the art world.