We're incredibly thrilled to announce Mark Oliver's success in making it through to the final of this year's Sky Portrait Artist of the Year. Aired on Sky Arts, we've watched Mark create portraits of Naturalist Chris Packham as part of the first heat and Pink Floyd Drummer Nick Mason in the semi-final. In both sittings Mark has produced distinct oil portraits executed with warmth and confidence.
Mark explains his journey so far, "It’s December 2020, the country is in lockdown and work is slow so, despite not having painted with oils very much and never having painted a self portrait, I decided to create something to enter the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2021.
February, and I get a call from Storyvault films (Sky Arts production company) to say ‘you’re in!’
Heat 7 of 8, 9 artists per heat and I’m painting Chris Packham. The day is very long, 4 hours to paint but this is peppered with interruptions and, incredibly, I win the heat.
Fast forward two weeks and I’m in the semi-final alongside 7 other heat winners. Only three can go through to the final and the chance of winning a 10K commission to paint Nicola Benedetti. We’re painting Nick Mason, drummer of Pink Floyd.
There are 5 women and 3 men in the semifinals and the first finalist announced Is a man .... the second finalist is a man... I‘m now thinking ‘well that was fun’ when... I’m in the final!
Save the date for the final - watch on Sky Arts, Wednesday 15th December.