Sky certainly isn't the limit for Mark

Friday, 24 January, 2020

A professional artist and tutor is enjoying a brush with TV fame after taking part in Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year.Mark Mullholland

Talented Mark Mulholland - who is currently teaching classes with East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture (EDLC) Trust - will appear on the programme being broadcast this Tuesday (28 January) from 8pm.

Mark is one of the tutors on EDLC's popular Get Creative Programme - currently delivering Drawing for Beginners at Kirkintilloch Town Hall and a new weekly Sculpture/Casting course (from Tuesday 28 Jan-31 March) at Kilmardinny House.

He has been a fan of Portrait Artist of the Year - hosted by Joan Bakewell and Stephen Mangan - since it began, but never felt ready to enter.

"However, having subsequently exhibited in London at big shows like the BP Portrait Awards and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 2014 and 2017 respectively and then in the Scottish Portrait Awards in 2017 and 2018, I was given a well-needed boost of confidence," explains Mark.

"So last year when I was invited by the producers of the show to apply I decided to enter. You have to submit a self-portrait, which by chance I had recently completed. Fortunately I was accepted and invited to attend filming in early April 2019 in London, at the beautiful Battersea Arts Centre.

"Storyvault Films, who make the show, have a wonderful set-up and the artist's every need is catered for.

"Doing something like that takes you out of your comfort zone. The solitary studio artist ventures outdoors ... the secretive techniques on show!

"Although I was there on the day I'm really excited to see the program and how it has been edited together. It will give the viewers a flavour of how I start a painting."

Mark is a former Bishopbriggs resident and currently lives in Kirkintilloch. He has been working with EDLC Trust's Get Creative Programme since last September and has some words of inspiration for budding artists.

"I would definitely encourage everyone to consider taking up art classes or any other creative activity," he said. "It really does help expand horizons, and definitely brings immense enjoyment and a real sense of achievement.

"I absolutely love art. For me it's all about the creative process and the problem-solving skills that you develop - there's nothing like having a series of skills, but not initially knowing the answer to a visual problem. You get the chance to figure that out using your mind, heart and soul.

"It's a pity that more people don't afford themselves the time to express their inner emotions and feelings through art as it's such a therapeutic activity."

For information on creative courses locally, visit

Councillor Vaughan Moody, Joint Leader of the Council and Chair of EDLC Trust, said, "It's great to hear about Mark's appearance on Portrait Artist of the Year. He's a highly-respected artist and we are delighted to be working with him. It's a great example of the excellent courses available locally."

Mark’s works feature in private collections in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and USA, and he is regularly in demand for commissions.

"I love using colour and shape in my art, and my clients love that about my paintings that they commission me to do," he said. "I was interested in art from a very early age - standing in front of a nursery school A-frame easel I felt at home with a brush in my hand painting people."

You can find out more about Mark by visiting and you can also follow him on Facebook and Instagram - @mbmartist

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