Mark English refuses to be bored. An artist of exceptional gifts, he had achieved one remarkable success after another. Driven by a need for excellence and an unending attraction to challenge and change, he has created an unparalleled body of work.
English was born in Hubbard, Texas, in 1933. His first job was picking cotton, but he worked his way out of the fields when he learned how to paint signs for visiting rodeos. He attended the University of Texas and graduated from The Art Center College in Los Angeles in 1960.
English moved to Connecticut in 1964, and so began his meteoric rise as one of America’s top magazine illustrators. His first editorial assignment from The Saturday Evening Post led to nonstop work from most major publications including Reader’s Digest, The Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Sports Illustrated, Redbook, McCall’s, and Time.
The recipient of over a hundred awards from arts organizations nationwide, English was named “Artist of the Year” by the Artists Guild of New York in 1967. His work was selected with astounding regularity for the Society of Illustrators annual exhibitions. The Society further honored him with the Hamilton King Award in 1967, and in 1983 elected him to the their prestigious Illustrators Hall of Fame.
In 1977, an offer from Hallmark Cards to serve as artist-in-residence prompted a move to Kansas City, Missouri.
In 1996, English began to concentrate on gallery paintings almost exclusively and soon found great success in this new venture. His works are coveted by art lovers and private collectors, and have been shown in Canada, Japan, and throughout the United States, including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Increasingly, English’s interest in Kansas City and its surrounding countryside began to predominate his paintings. English creates rich patterns using simplified geometric shapes and abstract planes that echo the topography and coloration of the land. His landscapes evoke remembered scenes and associative feeling rather than represent particular locations – it is the essence of the experience, gleaned from his continual observation.
As an artist, English is committed to innovation and growth. His career as an illustrator set new standards within the field, and his recent paintings are proof of his determination, drive and desire to further challenge himself.