Born in Derby in 1976, Mark Preston is the youngest member of an already well known artistic family. He studied illustration at Anglia University in Cambridge, but it was sketching and painting trips with his father, Rex Preston, to the Peak District, Cornwall and Scotland that really inspired him to become a landscape painter.
Mark paints in acrylics and works mainly in... situ with relatively little time spent in the studio. “For me experiencing the landscape and elements directly is essential to attempt to capture them in paint. I just need to be there to respond to the nature and the spirit of the landscape”. This direct approach of working from nature allows him time to observe and experience the subtle changes in colour, light and atmosphere, enabling him to build up an understanding and awareness of the places he paints. One mainstay of Mark’s thinking comes from John Constables’s declaration “Nature is the fountain’s head, the source from whence all originality must spring”.
Derbyshire, the Lake District and Penwith in Cornwall are the main areas he paints and it’s the way the changing seasons and weather affect these places that fascinates him. Mark has been having one-man shows in Derbyshire and Cornwall from the age of 21 and has had exceptional success in recent years, his work has been published as greeting cards by Paperchase and Canns Down Press.
“There is a real freshness and emotion to his work. It’s the way he attacks the surface of the canvas. Just look at his landscapes; he throws the paints on as if they were waves. Although close up its abstract work, stand back and you can feel the rush of those waves or, in other pictures the wind rustling the vegetation or the sun shining down” Phil Tregoning, Tregoning Gallery
“His work possesses an air of authenticity and is steeped in reality. It is clear to see he is a plein-air artist” Frank Ruhrmund - Art Critic, The Cornishman