His work Study for a Fragment V is currently on show at our Open All Media exhibition sponsored by Fresh: Art Fair. Mark Youd shared with ART BLOG the basis for his work…
Drawing is the foundation upon which my whole body of work sits. I draw the sitter and begin adding, or more often, removing elements from the drawing.
I search for an interesting line within the geometric planes I’ve drawn, emphasise it by removing the surrounding detail while maintaining the continuity of the whole. I’ll continue picking away at the form until I feel, subconsciously, that it is where it should be. It’s as though the drawing knows where to stop.
I’m always searching for new and interesting ways to use and present drawings and this exploration has lead me to printmaking.
Study for a Fragment V, ink on scratched plastic, 40 x 30cm. Drawn on clear plastic using sharp needle tools and sandpaper, ink is forced into the grooves and the smooth surface wiped clean. White spray paint is added when ink has dried and the piece is framed with the reverse side forward.
In the Cast series of ink monotype portraits on glass, the single, continuous, rapidly drawn line appears suspended and the shadow it casts encourages the viewer to look beyond the surface, behind the mask, to glimpse what we try to keep hidden.
The technical challenges and experimental nature of printmaking are particularly enjoyable. It may seem easier to use a pencil or pen to draw, but a great satisfaction comes from discovering the unique qualities of printing ink on glass, and from creating grey tones using just black ink printed from an etched metal plate on to white paper.
Cast series on display: four pieces from the Cast series of ink monotypes on glass
In painting, I prepare the board or canvas with roughly applied gesso primer, moved around with household brushes, sheets of paper, pieces of cardboard, fingers, arms, clothes, whatever I can use to produce evocative textures.
The addition of an impasto medium to oil paint maintains my expressive brush and knife strokes. I can give my subjects the textures of weathered cliffs and carved stone, or sculpt the surface of the painting so it appears to shift in the light, as though the paint was active with ocean-like currents.
Fragment XXXI, oil on board, 40x30cm. Displayed as part of the RBSA Portrait show 2017
Mark Youd is a self-taught artist working in Southerndown, near Cardiff on the South Wales coast. He trained as a draughtsman and, in parallel to a successful career as a designer and technical illustrator, he has developed his personal artistic practice, exploring the possibilities of portraiture.
Mark draws, prints, paints and sculpts abstracted portraits inspired by the natural environment, geometry and the art of ancient civilisations.