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Mark Sofilas

"I am originally from Western Australia but migrated to the UK in 2008.  I was an illustrator with over 20 years’ experience in the advertising industry but took the opportunity, on moving to the UK, to turn to fine art, something which I had always wanted to do. I now paint full time from my studio in Leeds and have developed a reputation and following for my original oil paintings of the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, particularly coastal scenes of the Heritage Coast, such as the fishing villages of Whitby, Staithes & Robin Hood’s Bay.

I am proud to be an exhibiting member of Leeds Fine Artists (founded in 1874) & a member of the  Association of British Naive Artists.

My paintings are very heavily guided by the emotions a particular scene or moment evokes in me. It’s this feeling that I try to convey to the viewer.

It might be something as simple as smoke drifting from a chimney pot or silhouette created by a particular light source. It may be the strength or history, which emanates from an everyday object or piece of architecture. Over time I’ve discovered that I can best achieve this by exaggerating/characterising colour, manipulating perspective slightly & pushing shape & form to arrive, hopefully, at a nicely balanced place, where the image created has not only captured the physical qualities of the scene, but more importantly, the feeling of the occasion.


I’m a self taught painter & not locked into approaching my work with any particular procedure or direction in mind. However, I take photographs of my subjects, but like to rely on memory & imagination, the ultimate goal being, to recreate exactly what I’m feeling onto a flat surface. I don’t do preliminary drawings, instead I prefer to adopt a more organic approach & design the paintings as I go. This helps the end product retain a freshness & feeling of spontaneity.I always have an image & mood in my mind’s eye that I’m trying to put down and I find that working this way allows me to be flexible & go with any happy accidents that more than likely will occur. It’s these little surprises that I can adopt & learn from & take into my next painting.

I enjoy the journey that this direct & unstructured approach takes me on & find that it enables me to either get close to achieving what I had in mind & heart or on occasion, arrive somewhere unexpected but as rewarding."

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