Collection: Mark Pickles

My first profession, from 1980, was avionics engineer in the Royal Air Force. I remained in technical fields until 2020. I now consider myself semi-retired, having set myself up as an artist and illustrator. I rent an artist’s studio in Altrincham.
I have been a keen artist since childhood, and in 2011-2012, in between technical contracts, I spent a year out of my technical profession to dedicate time to painting and illustration, trying out various self-taught techniques.
I was fortunate to quickly get commissions, and to have some work displayed in a gallery in Macclesfield. In early 2012 I was commissioned by Silicon Valley Bank UK to paint the view from their UK headquarters in the City of London (41 Lothbury, overlooking the Bank of England and the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral).
The bank wanted an original painting, and prints of the painting to give as corporate gifts to international visitors. They had tried to photograph the view from their offices, but unsuccessfully due to foreground obstructions.

My favourite medium is pastel, although I have recently been working with oil paints. My projects are cityscapes, skyscapes, and figurative, and in some of my paintings I have combined all of these. I like high detail, precision and realism, although my skyscapes allow more creative freedom, working from a combination of observation, memory, emotion, and aesthetic composition.
Some of my panoramic cityscapes are still available as signed-and-numbered prints, including the City of London painting, a Thames Pageant painting, and a panorama of Jerusalem.
I am presently working on a new series of large skyscapes in pastel.