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Mark Hobson is one of the most accomplished Coastal & Wildlife Artists in Canada.
Mark resides and paints out on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, in the Clayoquot area ( which he helped protect ) Mark hand built himself a “floating studio” over twenty five years ago which allows him to experience the incredible changing coast line and wildlife – the very subjects he most loves to paint in the solitude of the place in loves most.
Mark is also a very personable and learned man. Degree educated as a Scientist (Biology) he originally taught in high school but wanted to dedicate the rest of his life to his main passion – Art, specifically painting the coast and its resident wildlife.
When I interviewed him, a storm had just come in and damaged two of the floating barrells that support the Floating Studio, which caused them to lose their air and Mark was on his way out to replace them, single handedly. Mark is in his late fifties but has to be “fit as a fiddle” to live and work out in such a remote area, taking care of all the maintenance, himself. I was a little concerned about the dangers of that, but he quickly commented that “the wilderness was far safer than walking the streets of Vancouver” and I had to agree. I found it all very inspiring.
Many of Marks Art involves underwater scenes and I enquired as to whether he scuba dived. Mark learned to scuba dive while at University of Victoria, and it helped greatly with several projects and courses in marine biology( his secondary love ) Mark loves diving under the glassy surfaces and finds peace and inspiration under the waters, especially when the sunlight pours through, hitting the huge beds of bull kelp which he says are like no other forest on earth…a mystical, watery forest that invites him to capture it. This experience tops Marks list when it comes to his Art. Many people do not realize the beauty that lies beneath the ocean because most of us do not scuba dive or spend a lot of time in our oceans, but Mark makes sure he dives atleast five times a year and says the experience is his favourite haunting muse. The watery forest and kelp has been the subject of several of his past and recent commissions because it has such unique colours and very few other artists paint such scenes. Mark participates in usually 4 one-man shows and a number of group shows each year and averages about fifty paintings a year.
He gravitates between Acrylic, oils and Watercolor, presently focusing mainly on Acrylic and often teaches his techniques, such as blending and merging, through workshops and classes throughout the year, some small some large such as the recent “art-immersion week” on Gabriola Island ( next year it will be Saltspring but Mark will not be teaching two years in a row ) in partnership with The Federation of Canadian Artists which involved eighty fellow Artists and a few prominent signature Artists from the CFA for instruction and inspiration.
Marks Art is conservation in itself. His work beautifully depicts the coastal lines and wildlife of BC, documenting it, for generations to come. Who knows what our Island will look like fifty years from now. Mark has also been a very active conservationist, working hard to conserve the very environment and wildlife he loves. Mark’s conservation activities have included spearheading the very important Carmannah Valley preservation campaign (with the support of many others Artists that he brought together along with supportive locals, celebrities and the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and the Sierra Club) to save our ancient and very beautiful old growth forests and watersheds of the Carmannah Valley and the Clayoquot Sound areas of Vancouver Island.
Painting the wildlife “in-situ” is something Mark has been doing since he was a very young child when his engineer father took him and his family to various exotic countries Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Portugal. his teenage years were spent in 2 boarding schools, one in Northern Ireland and the other at Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island. Ireland is where Mark really began drawing and realized, from a young age what his life’s work was meant to be; Art and Science. Travelling and moving with his family, just added to his young portfolio and inspiration. Mark tells me he spent almost every single day producing at least one drawing of wildlife and the landscapes he witnessed, continually documenting and developing his artistic skills. This love of painting exotic locales and travel is still very much a part of Marks work. Mark continues to travel to places like the Galapogos, and the Falkland Islands that are rich in wildlife. On several occasions he has lead overseas tours that focus on painting workshops. These destinations, as you can imagine, are rich with wildlife and a rich source for any Artist.
To add to his portfolio and inspiration as an Artist, Mark also won a major Art competition at a young age pitted against thousands of students throughout Scotland and the British Isles, sponsored by the Brooke Bond Tea Co which brought tea in from the hills of the Island of Ceylan. The resulting prize was a fantastic voyage the Island of Ceylan ( now called Sri Lanka ) to see the Tea hills and experience the exotic locale, complete with its amazing wildlife which thrilled Mark and the Artist within him. These works were added to his growing Portfolio – an impressive collection, at such a young age. Mark still proudly owns his original drawings and art from childhood, that he refers to now and then, like a photographic album rich with emotion and memory.
In 2009 Mark was given “Signature Status” by the Federation of Canadian Artists this is the highest award that the federation offers to its member Artists. We are lucky to have such a talented, active Artist as a long term resident of Vancouver Island ( Tofino, BC. ) and proud to profile him and help bring his work to the general public, locally and internationally.
Mark Hobson is one of our “Featured Artists” and is also our first “Artist in Residence” which means his Acrylic Paintings, Watercolors and Giclee prints will be sold through our virtual ecommerce Gallery ( along with other featured Vancouver Island Artists)
Mark shows his original works at three galleries:
The Shorewind in Tofino
Gallery 223 in Nanaimo
Gainsborough Gallery in Calgary.
In addition, Mark usually shows each year in Comox in August at their Nautical Days Celebration and at the Wickaninnish Inn in November in Tofino.
For workshops in 2012 please check the website. Mark can also be found on the Maple Leaf in Victoria during the summers. Next year he will be working with CFA offering workshops on Saltspring Island
Mark Hobsons website
Nov 2011 Show at Gallery 223
Nov 19 – 26, 223 Commercial Street, Nanaimo, B.C.
Artist in attendance Saturday November 19 and 26 Only
The Muse Winery in Sidney,Vancouver Island this December 2011. Wickaninnish Inn, (in the Salal rooom) Osprey Lane, Tofino B.C. Nov. 11, 12 &13. 10am to 9pm daily.
A Christmas Inspired – Muse Winery Christmas Show
11195 Chalet Road, North Saanich, BC
Open Saturday Dec 10th and Sunday Dec 11th 11 to 5 pm
|Coastline Art Inc. Artist Mark Hobson, SFCA
|P.O. Box 381, Tofino
British Columbia V0R 2Z0
Mark has made outstanding artistic, teaching and conservation contributions to this country and Island. We are proud and truly look forward to selling and viewing Marks current and future Art Work through Vancouver Island Style Magazine.