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Mark English

November 18, 2019


Mark English‘s work has been a staple of the Illustration industry for decades. The Society of Illustrators inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 1983, and he continued to work in, and influence the market for years after that. Sadly, this giant of illustration passed away a couple of months ago. I thought I would showcase some of his work here today.

Mark was born in 1933 in Hubbard, Texas. He attended the Hubbard High School and graduated in 1951, after which he enrolled into the University of Texas and was then drafted into the military during the Korean War.

In 1954, Mark married his first wife, Peggy Ann Littlejohn. In 1960, Mark graduated with honours from The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, with a BFA in Advertising Design.

After gaining work experience in advertising agencies for the automobile industry, Mark and his family moved to Connecticut in 1964.

He began an illustrious career, working with publications such as TIME Magazine and Sports Illustrated among others in the corporate, pharmaceutical, music and postage industry.

In 1977, Hallmark Cards offered Mark an Artist-in-Residency to teach classes to its creative staff in Kansas City. It was there that he met his second wife, Wendy Buskey, and they married in 1983.

In 1995, Mark retired from illustrations and began to paint for galleries in earnest.

He had quite an usual departure from his previous illustrative and quite photographic style.

Combining elements of cloth, paper and motifs to help construct his decorative collages. Using a variety of subject matter such as people…

… bird life…

… flowers…


… and horses.

Wonderful compositions and subtle dashes of texture and colour to help identify both the subject and the flow of movement. Look at the colours in this beautiful work.

Often Mark makes the viewer search for the animal in the work.

Stunning paintings and harmonious colourations.

However his most prolific work concentrated around landscapes. Playing with geometric shapes, layering colours and texturing throughout.

In 1995, he and his son John co-founded the Illustration Academy, an art and design workshop catering to students and professionals.

From 1999 onwards, Mark’s work and paintings were exhibited in galleries across the United States and in London.

Beautifully serene landscapes.

Mark’s last exhibition was in 2019, in the Sager Braudis Gallery, in Columbia. He has had a tremendous influence on multiple generations of artists and hopefully his work will continue to delight, inspire and shine out from blogs like mine well into the future. How many of you readers knew of his work already ?

If you liked Mark’s early work you may also admire the work of Mac Conner.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2019 10:01 am

    Had not heard about him previously. Thanks for sharing. Lovely works.

  2. Dave permalink
    November 18, 2019 4:40 pm

    Likewise, Mark English was not known to me but his work is a joy to see!

  3. gwenmcmartin permalink
    November 18, 2019 9:39 pm

    His illustration work looks familiar especially as I studied Graphic Design and Illustration in the early 70’s. Love seeing the work evolve over the years. Great color and texture. Thanks for posting this review of him.

  4. Alison Fennell permalink
    December 23, 2019 2:30 pm

    Alan English – my new hero! I adore his illustrative works of everyday life scenes as well as his semi-abstract horses (to die for!) and poetic panoramas! I am in love and inspired – thanks. I love your posts.

  5. December 23, 2019 5:29 pm

    Thanks Alison, I’m sure you mean Mark English … no ? Thank you, I’m so pleased you like my posts too. So nice to hear.

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