Mark Braithwaite

Sunset Over Westminster by Mark Braithwaite
Sunset Over Westminster - Canvas by Mark Braithwaite
Last Bus Home by Mark Braithwaite
Last Bus Home - Canvas by Mark Braithwaite
Call To Order by Mark Braithwaite
Call To Order - Canvas by Mark Braithwaite
Mysterious Caller by Mark Braithwaite
Mysterious Caller - Canvas by Mark Braithwaite
Fine artist, realist artist, figurative artist, landscape artist. York-born and bred Mark Braithwaite has been known by all the aforementioned titles, if, indeed, titles are required to introduce his body of work. Known equally for his red telephone and pillar boxes set amid an oh-so London scene and the captured art of the female form, for argument’s sake we’ll refer to Braithwaite as a fine artist. Braithwaite’s story began in Yorkshire’s eponymous city back in 1970, where he displayed a love of drawing from the start. Braithwaite’s fledgling creative talent steered him toward higher education and in his case, Bradford University where he chose to study Visual Communication to acquire a broad design knowledge base as a springboard to a career in an art discipline.

In between term-time at uni, Braithwaite gained a new armament in his design portfolio, and a completely self-taught one to boot, as a pavement artist. Like Dick van Dyke’s pavement artist character in the film Mary Poppins, Braithwaite’s impromptu concrete etchings signalled the starting point to an epic adventure, only his being grounded in a lot more reality. This was also the juncture at which Braithwaite realised that he possessed an almost photographic memory, specifically one day as he sat perched on the steps of York Minster, whereby he first discovered that he required little if any reference material to kick-start his compositions. Braithwaite continued constructing and leaving his uniquely creative visual calling cards on historic York’s leading thoroughfares on leaving university, before deciding that canvas rather than paving slabs would leave a more lasting impression and gain him a somewhat wider potential audience. These painted cityscapes in turn would subsequently become prints too.

As hinted at the top, Braithwaite’s first forays took in landscapes, which he worked in acrylic on canvas from the outset, which the artist believed were more suited to his photo-realistic style of paint rendering. Yet over the intervening years, Braithwaite has dabbled in darker arts including 50 shades of oil, watercolour and pastel. Of his bespoke landscapes – and a familiar trait amongst many contemporary artists – Braithwaite conceals his very own trademark flourish; a lucky black cat going by the name of Lucy. Intense colours, discerningly disturbed perspective alterations and a seemingly painstaking attention to detailing are telltale signs of Braithwaite’s pictorial connections with his canvasses, whilst he’s long held a fascination with the objectivity that transient weather and light play on his evolving compositions, which ultimately herald persuasive nuances in relation to both reflections and shadows.

When it comes to Braithwaite’s figurative visual outpourings, he elects to condition and present these studies as oil on canvas eventualities, embracing vivid light and shadow to project a layered, atmospheric image which screams life. Of late, Braithwaite has made a successful return to pencil sketching, which was essentially where his journey commenced if you think about it. Evidence exists through Braithwaite’s pronouncement and articulate delivery of his subject matter as to influences derivative of Renoir, Manet, Raphael and Botticelli, and the artist is quick to admit that much of his inspiration comes from a balance between the Impressionists and the Baroque School of artistic thought and application, with the refined drawing attributes of the Renaissance artists prevalent in many of Braithwaite’s individual pieces.

Braithwaite has come far from his earnest beginnings as a penniless pavement artist making his first creative marks upon landscapes, literally, and his originals and printed reproductions sell worldwide, as well as from his own gallery that he opened and runs in York city centre, where he still lives today with his wife and son. Braithwaite has been selected on two occasions by the British Army to be their Regimental artist, for the much celebrated and high profile Signal Regiment and the Royal Artillery, while Nestle UK and the GMB union number among other corporate clients with whom he’s artistically collaborated. What’s more, Braithwaite was commissioned by the famous astrologer, Jonathan Cainer to produce artwork on his behalf.

And Braithwaite has been widely acknowledged within the industry, not least by the Art Business Today/Canon-sponsored annual competition which saw him become a category finalist in, while the artist was approached by the owners of stately Newby Hall in 2008 to produce a series of figurative impressions and paintings highlighting stunning vistas of the hall itself, on which the results were showcased along with other compositions as his solo exhibition in the Spring of that same year. As mooted earlier, Braithwaite is particularly interested in the lesser spotted – and quintessentially English – red telephone box, which formed the basis of his ‘Lost Connection’ series of paintings, which paid visual tribute to the rapidly fading British street furniture icon, and which duly received critical acclaim in the UK national press at the time.

Braithwaite’s figurative work is published by leading national publisher Solomon & Whitehead and is otherwise represented by Buckingham Fine Art Publishers.

View All Art Works By Mark Braithwaite