Mark Francis 1956 -
Mark Francis was inspired and motivated to create art early on by his mother, acclaimed artist Dorothy Francis, and by his older brother, Tim, also an accomplished artist. Born in North Vancouver, BC, Mark discovered an affinity for the mountains and rain forest, an attraction that would last a lifetime.
Mark first trained as a Commercial Display Artist, designing everything from department store displays, to parade floats, to a wax figure of Elvis for the Houston, Texas Wax Museum. Always an exceptional draftsman, in his spare time Mark produced intricate ‘Fantasy Art’ that included all manner of hobgoblins, gnomes and pixies.
Later, married and raising a family at Campbell River on Vancouver Island, Mark turned his eye to nature for illumination. Canadian Gallery Prints produced five of Mark’s wildlife paintings as limited edition prints during this period, all of which promptly sold out. Because raising a family is a compelling reason for earning more money, Mark managed to gain entry into the burgeoning movie business in Vancouver. He commuted to Campbell River between shoots.
His family now grown, Mark continues to work in the props side of the movie business where he has become the go-to guy when a director needs a quick and creative solution to a props dilemma. On any given day he might be asked to create anything from an ancient looking bible to the tormented sketches of a girl possessed. He’s coached Sissy Spacek and Peter O’Toole, on separate occasions, for their roles as artists in movies and he’s been commissioned for portraits of both Brad Pitt and Dick Van Dyke.
Having returned to North Vancouver to live Mark explains, “I’ve always been inclined to paint in a realistic style. I strive for depth in my work, I want the viewer to feel that they could reach out and touch the subject, or walk right into the painting.”