Prior to starting his degree course, Mark Reeves had been experimenting with painting in a cloisonné style not unlike the styles of Patrick Caulfield (1936 - 2005) and Valerio Adami (b 1935) but using mixed media.
At art college (Brighton Polytechnic - now Brighton University) he developed this style further by continuing to paint using bold, block colours but now using Liquitex acrylic paint on stretched canvas and without the black outlines.
After graduating in 1982 Mark continued to paint in this style for a couple of years and sold a few paintings, but then focused on a career that involved writing, arranging, performing and teaching music.
In 2002 he decided to try his hand at watercolour painting, initially drawing inspiration from photographs he'd taken during a holiday in Majorca, then indulging in a watercolour painting holiday organised by Andrew John Studio in southern Spain at the end of that summer.
Mark returned to painting in acrylics in 2011 using a stripped-down figurative style of painting similar to his earlier work, but now concentrating on portraits of his favourite rock, pop and jazz musicians. Conventionally, an artist might chat to the sitter whilst their portrait is being created in their presence, resulting in the subject’s personality becoming captured within the image. Mark's portraits, however, are painted to a backdrop of the “sitter’s” music playing, which enables the artist to encapsulate in a painterly fashion his personal interpretation of their musical identity.
Mark's nudes are more abstract than his portraits; they are full of ambiguities that invite the viewer into the scene to explore it and then to draw their own conclusions.