Mark Kaiser was born in Worcestershire to Polish parents and has been painting and drawing since the age of three. He attended the well renowned Hagley RC High School in Worcestershire and owes a debt of gratitude to his art teacher Mr Ken Birch who inspired him to develop his artistic and creative ideas. He studied Design and Illustration at Suffolk University and graduated with a BA (Hons) 2:1. In the summer after graduation he was contacted by EMI Records who were particularly interested in an illustration he’d created out of burnt Chinese newspapers and this was subsequently seen by the then up-and-coming band Radiohead who wanted to entitle their EP ‘Chinese Burn’. The band loved it and exhibited the finished illustration in their house.
An EMI executive also said it was very unfortunate that Freddie Mercury of Queen had passed away a year earlier, as he would have really like Mark’s style and would have been enthused to use it on a new album cover.
A few years ago Mark was commissioned along with his twin brother, Paul to produce a huge Renaissance-style painting on the altar wall of the Polish Church in Kidderminster. After many months of research, studying the work of the Great Masters in the National Gallery and talking to scenery painters in the West End, the painting was started. The whole experience gave them a taste of what life was like for Michelangelo working up on the scaffolding for hours on end. Two years later the project was complete and the painting featured on Central News and was visited by an Archbishop from the Vatican. To see more of Paul’s work click onto www.maxrt.com.
Mark lives in Warwickshire and paints from a busy studio filled with travel books. From an early age Mark was inspired by Eastern European and American folk art through Polish, Czech and Hungarian folk story-books containing imaginative illustrations. He was also infused by the creative, animated world of Dr Seuss.
Among his artistic inspirations are Vincent Van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, Frida Kahlo, Alfred Sisley, Sir Stanley Spencer, Gustave Baumann, Charles Ginner, Claude Monet, Sir Kyffin Williams and Paul Gauguin. Mark’s favourite poet is Dylan Thomas.
Between 2000-2003 his work was exhibited at the Artistic License Gallery in Primrose Hill, London and was represented by the gallery at the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea many times. The exhibitions were sell-outs and he received a commission to illustrate The Wine Society’s Autumn Wine List. This was a great opportunity to show his work to a wider audience and led to many private commissions.
He received a notable commission to produce a large painting of Newmarket Racecourse for Conversation Pieces which has been a huge draw at the racecourse and has even appeared on Channel 4 Racing. The award-winning art gallery, Compton Verney, near Stratford-upon-Avon is successfully selling his cards and desktop calendars. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust are featuring Mark’s greetings cards in their gift shops in all the Shakespeare Houses with images of Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Holy Trinity Church, Mary Arden’s Farmhouse and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Mark’s desktop calendars “Around The World in Eighty Colours” and “The Wonders of Warwickshire” sell out every year and have started to become collectors’ pieces. He receives emails every year from people all over the world who use his calendars and one of the most surprising ones was from a couple in Nepal. Mark’s original oil paintings are now in private collections in the U.K, the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, Italy, Holland, Germany, Norway, Belgium and the Seychelles. Mark has sold over 98% of his work.
Due to the popularity of his paintings, Mark has found that his House Portraits are especially in demand. He is currently working on a number of house portraits for collectors with a view to expanding this side of his painting career. With Mark’s style he is able to capture practically all aspects of the house and gardens and include all relevant details. The paintings give a somewhat aerial flat view which encapsulates the character of the house and gardens perfectly. Collectors have said that their house portrait is a cherished member of the family and will be passed down from generation to generation. Mark now has a four year waiting list for original painting commissions. He has had many enquiries about the art materials he uses. His pencils are sourced from Chambers Pencils (Natural Wood Hexagonal Range), oil paints and canvases from Daler Rowney (Premium Range) and paintbrushes from ProArte. He buys his art materials from his local art shop, Picturesque in Warwick.
He says: “I paint from memories of places that I have been to, of people that I’ve met and atmospheres that have stuck in my mind. I’m interested in architecture and also the human need to call a place ‘home’. I like to put in characters to make a painting more colourful. Commissioned paintings usually contain the particular collector(s) as characters within the paintings. Each painting carries it’s own atmosphere through the colour, light, people, and background. There are calming moods, carnival atmospheres or simply subdued moods. I have this thing about perspective and sometimes we just don’t get on. So I create what feels right, not always what the laws of perspective might say. I find watching holiday programmes expands my imagination and I paint places I’d like to visit one day.”
“An important thing I’ve learned is to paint from the heart. Learn from the Masters, but paint as yourself.”