Mark Beesley ASGFA


After working as a solicitor for several years, I retrained and then worked as a graphic designer and illustrator, while continuing to paint part-time. I have now retired from illustration work to spend more time painting and drawing. I also teach adult leisure learning classes in Art History.

I regularly hold solo exhibitions in Suffolk and contribute to group exhibitions in East Anglia, London and Somerset. In 2018 I was awarded the Sir Hugh Casson Drawing Prize at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and in 2020 the regional prize in ‘The Discerning Eye’ at the Mall Gallery. Commissions include a painting for a new Medical Centre in Ipswich in 2016 and my work is in private and corporate collections in Britain, USA and Europe.

My main interest is in the balance between natural and artificial elements in the landscape, particularly where I live in East Anglia, where intensive farming imposes geometric abstract patterns and shapes on the land, and structures and buildings too contradict our expectations of what rural Britain looks like. Our additions to and rearrangements of the countryside may not always look harmonious or picturesque, but they have a reason to be there and a strong visual impact. Many of my pictures are not views of actual places, some of them are entirely imaginary, others are put together from various elements that I have seen at different times and in different places; buildings, landscapes, effects of light, figures and events, but all are based on observation and study. I try to express the incongruous, sometimes disturbing quality of these elements and their abstract forms. Other work reflects my lifelong interest in environmental issues – at the moment I’m working on a series of still-lifes about plastic packaging! I work in pencil and charcoal, oils and watercolour, and also use pastel for working outdoors.