“Voices In Echo” - August 2021
Found paper, card, printed images, 
acrylic, ink wash and pencil on canvas and board.
91cm x 61cm x 3cm.

Mark Burrell

UK artist, Mark Burrell has a distinctive style, as he strives for an economy of means. The attempt is to do the most, with the least. 
He is highly sensitive in his use of materials. Substances are often used spectacularly. Mark seeks to make the ordinary, extraordinary.

As he explains, “In order to understand the world around us, sometimes you need to focus on a small bit of it, you need to look very closely at what is close at hand and make it a representation for the whole”.

Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts with honours from Leeds Polytechnic and a Masters Degree in Fine Art from UEA at NIAD.

He has work in many private collections, including the Tim Sayer Collection and is represented by Thomas Spencer Fine Art

ArterNet Art: Hi Mark, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today. Can you give our readers an idea of your route to becoming an artist?

Mark: Difficult to say there was a smooth and direct route. I have always created my entire life. After leaving my degree and Masters courses, I eventually found my way into teaching, like many others. I am now privileged to be able to work fully on my art.

ArterNet Art:  Have you had to overcome any difficulties or major hurdles on your journey to becoming the successful, established artist we see today?

Mark:  Just the usual difficulties of how to balance making art and having to pay the bills-Not always an easy task.

“ Burned By The Same Flame” - August 2021.
Old exhibition postcards,
chinagraph pencil and found paper on canvas and board.

31cm x 31cm x 3cm.

ArterNet Art: Yes, we can all relate to that, this is why we love to read about other artists' successes.
So, what or who were your early influences?

When I was very young, I was like many, intrigued by Surrealism. However, my main influences have been the Catalan artist Antoni Tapies and the American Robert Rauschenberg. 
They have been two touchstones throughout the years.

ArterNet Art: How was your imagination captured?

I was drawn in by their radical experimentation with materials, but most of all by their use of everyday ‘poor’ materials in their early work.

ArterNet Art: What was it about the medium you've chosen, that attracted you?

I particularly like the random nature of using found objects in my work. The patina they bring and the story they tell. 
For me it is a way of breaking from the picture surface, creating new stories with them and trying to do the most with the least.

ArterNet Art: Can you explain to us a bit about your chosen techniques and how you use them.

Mark: My techniques are many and varied, it will depend on what the painting demands. 
Primarily I paint but there are often elements of collage and printmaking in there too.

ArterNet Art: Can you share some insights into your process from conception to creation

That would be difficult for me to get across. 
The process of making, for me, is a hugely private one (hence no images). 
I do not show unfinished work in progress or have visitors to my studio when I am working. The best I can offer is that the conception of a piece will spring from playing with different materials directly on the picture surface. 
Moving, arranging, removing until they all begin to talk in harmony.

“Heart And Soul” - February 2021.
Acrylic, pencil and printed
acetate sheet on 200gsm Fabriano paper.

56cm x 46cm.

ArterNet Art: Yes, we can all understand that.  Where does your inspiration come from mainly?

Mark: inspiration comes from places I have visited, feelings and emotions of remembering. 
Often the objects I have collected over time, allowing them to speak and offer possibilities.

ArterNet Art: How has your work developed since you began and how do you see it evolving in the future?

I would say my work has developed slowly. 
I rework ideas that I had over thirty years ago. Often time passed can give you a fresh perspective. 
I am also much more concerned with the materials I use and their longevity. In my early days I would use anything and over time they would deteriorate. 
Now I produce work that uses all the knowledge and mistakes I've made over the years. 
As for how the work evolves, I do not know and I don’t really want to know. 
It is a surprise every time a piece comes into existence. I never want to know in advance.

Watching The Fussing Of Men” - August 2021.
Found photograph, paper,
ink wash and pencil on Rowney mixed media board.

42cm x 30cm.

ArterNet Art: Give us an overview about a piece of your work that holds particularly fond memories and why?

Mark:  ‘Mountains Of The Mind’ was a piece that felt right from the very beginning. 
It flowed easily and although there are only a few elements within the piece they all seem to work perfectly. 

Mountains Of The Mind” - May 2021.
Acrylic, oil pastel and pencil on canvas and board.
91cm x 61cm x 3cm.

ArterNet Art: Yes, we can all identify with that.
Is there anything in particular that inspires you to create art?

Just being alive and open to the world.

ArterNet Art: What has been your favourite or most memorable art sale?

Mark: I would say, again, Mountains Of The Mind. I was taken to The Petworth Show by my gallery. 
I thought it might be a little too much, for what can be a conservative crowd. I loved that it caused a lot of discussion and heated emotions. 
I have to say that I loved even more that it gained three reserve bids and was sold very quickly.

ArterNet Art:  Well done. Marketing your artwork: do you have any tips? Do you struggle with marketing and what areas could you use some guidance in?

Mark: I am very lucky to be represented by Thomas Spencer Fine Art, so they do the marketing. 
Any issues or questions I might have are dealt with by them.

ArterNet Art: How has your arts business/career changed over the past 6 months or year?

The biggest change has been the professional representation of my work. 
It allows me more opportunities. 
In addition, the pandemic has given me the opportunity to work without many disruptions and develop my online presence, mainly through Instagram.
I would say the change is that there is more focus on the business of being an artist.

“La Petite Croix” - August 2021.
Found card and acrylic on found cardboard.
27cm x 20cm.

ArterNet Art: Do you have any hobbies, sports or interests other than art?

Mark: Not really, studio work takes up most of my time.

ArterNet Art: What plans and goals do you have for the future, both creatively and personal?

Mark: My plans are to continue to work in my studio and develop my relationship with my gallery and others, to increase my profile and find new buyers. 
But mainly to challenge myself with what I produce - to push and excite myself with the images I produce.

ArterNet Art: What advice would you give to an aspiring new artist?

Mark: Do what you love and never give up.

Thank you once again Mark and we wish you well in all your art endeavours.
You can find out more about Mark on his website:

And you can follow him on Instagram here:


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