Artist in residence Mark Glassman, Bishopstone


- Credit: Archant

From picture-framing to bar work and teaching, Mark Glassman’s was not a typical path into art


- Credit: Archant

Mark Glassman always enjoyed doodling at school but, in his own words, “nobody around me ever seemed to take art seriously and I was pushed to do subjects (and later jobs) that bored me to death.” It was only when a tutor suggested that he should go to college to study art that he really started to think it might be possible to spend time doing something he actually enjoyed. Among his past employees he lists working in a bar, as a sales assistant, a picture framer and a teacher. Of the latter he says that, “I have only very recently achieved a balance between creating my artwork and supporting students studying at university, which is lovely.”

Having moved to Sussex from London 10 years ago, Mark’s work is now heavily inspired by the land and seascape of his home county, and specifically the areas close to where he lives, namely Seaford, Bishopstone and Newhaven. “There are two caravan sites opposite me and I have created a series of paintings using these as starting points. My current obsession has been creating a series of works inspired by the shingle beach close to where I live, with varying degrees of textural elements and abstraction of form.” Many of these will go into a forthcoming solo exhibition entitled Life is a Beach, which will take place at the Hop Gallery in Lewes in October.”

Mark’s working space is a large shed-like construction at the bottom of the fabulous garden where he creates all his paintings, while listening to music: he rarely works in silence.

“I have never done commissions,” says Mark. “I just can’t work that way and I never know quite what the paintings will turn out like as it’s always a journey, sometimes with very unexpected turns!”

Previously, Mark has shown work in the Mall Galleries in London as part of the Discerning Eye and The Threadneedle Prize exhibitions, and he has just been shortlisted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. He will also be opening his studio, as he has for the last five years, for Artwave, The Lewes district Visual Arts Festival, ( which takes place the last two weekends in August and the first weekend in September.

To find out more about Mark’s work, or to arrange a commission, email, or go to

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