Featured Artist Mark Armstrong

Artist Mark Armstrong presents a compelling portfolio of semi-abstract portraits and figurative paintings. Visit this link to view more of his work.

 

Portrait of a woman, semi-abstract painting by Mark Armstrong

“Bad Mood” Mixed Media on Board, 60cm x 60cm

 

Born and raised in England, I took a keen interest in the art that came out of the cities I grew up and lived around—Birmingham and Bristol. This urban art, popularized by the likes of Banksy, endeavored to blend the fine art techniques with the raw street art.

 

Colorful, sem-abstract painting of a small child by artist Mark Armstrong

“Siena” Mixed Media on Canvas, 100cm x 80cm

 

I am influenced by masters such as Sargent, Turner, Van Gogh, early Picasso and modern-day artists such as Christian Hook, Jake Evans Wood, Ian Francis, Diarmuid Kelley, Francois Bard and Conor Harrington.

 

“Portrait of a Girl” semi-abstract acrylic painting by Mark Armstrong

“Portrait of a Girl” Acrylic on Canvas, 50cm x 70cm

 

From a very young age I had a fascination for art. Long before I developed any artistic abilities, I would make people, such as my parents, friends and even visitors, draw for me. I would hold up a picture and say “Draw this for me.” I was quite a taskmaster, as I would make them start over again if they made any errors.

 

Acrylic abstract painting of two children in a field of flowers by Mark Armstrong

“Snowshill” Acrylic on Canvas, 100cm x 80cm

 

Before long, I began to develop my own artistic abilities. My family and friends bought me books on art, which I devoured. I was fascinated the most by the human form. This has stayed with me until today.

 

Abstract figurative painting mother and child by Mark Armstrong

“Mother Jamaica” Acrylic on Canvas, 50cm x 70cm

 

I am not only driven by my passion to create art, but also the need to convey flair and originality in my work. I have found that realism is a great measure of ability and a developer of technique but I am determined to take my art further—the figure and the portrait—to a semi-abstract level. I never know how far I can push it without compromising the technique.

 

Portrait of a woman with diamond earrings, acrylic painting by Mark Armstrong

“Fern” Acrylic on Canvas, 80cm x 100cm

 

I enjoy experimenting with the classic fine art figure or portrait and mixing it up using different mediums, thus giving it a unique twist, differing it from the traditional.

 

Painting of Sumo wrestlers, semi-abstract mixed media by artist Mark Armstrong

“Once We Were Warriors” Mixed Media on Board, 60cm x 60cm

 

Although on many occasions I have been asked to rein in my creativity when doing commissions, I find that I still want to achieve something unusual, and I easily get carried away. The truth is, I like to feel a connection with my subject. I experience awe when I realize they are watching me creating them on canvas. I like to paint them to look like so much more than what is on the surface, whether I am painting from life or from a photo.

 

Colorful painting of a young man with boots, semi-abstract figurative work

“Andre” Acrylic on Canvas, 50cm x 70cm

 

I have stood in national galleries of art around the world and found paintings that not only do I like to look at, but I also enjoy the way they make me feel. I stand in front of these paintings and I feel the electricity buzz inside me. This feeling is what I am chasing when I am creating, although it is hard to achieve.

 

Portrait of a baby with a fox mask, by artist Mark Armstrong

“Little Fox” Acrylic on Canvas, 80cm x 100cm

 

Each piece is a journey. I start with a plan and an idea. Sometimes I follow this plan. Often the paintings develop their own story and path, which I am compelled to follow. This sometimes makes me anxious, as I don’t know where it will finish and whether or not I will like the result. Because of this, I try not to have too much of a developed, set idea when I begin. I find that if I keep it vague and follow the road I am being led down, that those pieces give me the most satisfaction.

 

Painting of a young man in a grey suit, semi-abstract by artist Mark Armstrong

“Shane” Mixed Media on Board, 60cm x 60cm

 

The conversations I have with myself while painting are never dull and are often very antagonistic. I generally start out ensuring that technically it looks right, then, as I progress, I look for boundaries to push. This helps me continuously develop and grow as an artist.

 

Artist Mark Armstrong invites you to follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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