Voices of Experience - Mark Adrian Stopforth
Voices of Experience
Mark Stopforth's evocative paintings are his impressions of the British moors, peatlands and estuaries—places with which he has intimate connections. With a nod toward the historic traditions of British landscape painters such as J. M. W. Turner, and honoring the monochromatic style of artists such as Hasegawa Tohaku, Stopforth brings the essences of his subjects into graceful refined expression.
My mother always encouraged me creatively and indeed is a very active amateur artist herself. I can remember a portrait I did of her when I must have been three or four which was put on a wall and that must have registered with me that this was a normal thing to do. I was always drawing or painting and I remember being singled out at school that art was my thing.
Did you have any mentors who were particularly inspirational to you and your work?
Was there a pivotal moment or event that helped you to take the leap into pursuing your painting full-time?
In addition to your primary medium of oil, have you explored other mediums?
Prussian Blue is always in my box of paints. It has a sublime quality and richness that can’t be equalled. I’ve come round to the idea of quick-drying whites though not mixable whites. I work on a heavy weighted paper that is without texture—this is the best to take the first quick washes of colour and hold them under any further marks or layers I make. Unusually I don’t use brushes—everything I do is ragged. This gives me a closeness of touch and connection with the paint which to me is essential.
The painting above (The River's Source) is based upon evening walks on top of Dartmoor when night-time starts to close in and I would still be an hour away from wherever I happened to be staying. The subject matter is a nod towards the fact that rivers like the River Dart start on top of the boggy moor in a hundred different tributaries, but the whole moor is essentially shifting on layers of peat and water. I wanted that fluidity to come across in the painting—so much so you can see the first marks or washes in oil underneath.
Any words of wisdom you might give to beginning artists?
To see more of Mark Adrian Stopforth's work, go to:
All artwork copyright Mark Adrian Stopforth
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