Friday, 25 October 2013

Mark Hearld's Work Book: A Delightful World of Nature By A Modern British Artist

This lavish, full-colour book packed with the work of Yorkshire artist Mark Hearld is a feast for the eyes and full of images to inspire one to get busy with the paints.  I first heard of Mark Hearld about three years ago or so and instantly was attracted to his work, and this book was a much desired Christmas present last year, and the first book I read this year.  At the time I found out about his art I quickly discovered some other contemporary artists and for me it was a change to actually admire artists who were alive, as I'd always only been interested in centuries old paintings and artists long gone and had a dislike for most modern art, but this is modern art of a very different type, for this is art inspired by nature and a certain kind of folk art cosiness, not (for me) the scary and incomprehensible modern art of an abstract and cold, hard style with obscure meaning that I was forced to learn a bit about in college.  In more recent years I discovered how limited my art education had been concerning certain times and movements and have tried to make up for it somewhat.  So much of what I had to study I had a strong distaste for, which is a shame for, as unlike the views of some, I believe art should be beautiful, or at least attractive.  I want nothing to do with ugliness in artistic creations, there is enough ugliness in modern society without adding to it, we need good things. 

Mark Hearld's book (which I suspect will be the first of many as he is so amazingly prolific) is full of good things, an abundance of paintings, pottery, linocuts, woodcuts and collages of brightness and charm, many having a look of freedom and looseness in the execution (like the forces of nature such as wind and rain), although other pieces are of a much more controlled and arranged form.  His pictures sometimes look deceptively simplistic, yet when you look further more and more impressive details come into view.

I heartily recommend this book to anyone who likes animal and nature-inspired art or mid-century British art, which is the main inspiration of Mark Hearld.  I do hope a workbook volume two will be published in the near future.
Here are two wonderful videos about Mark Hearld's work:

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