Artist Mark Sheeky

As a child, computer programming was my obsession, and I worked in solitude on this for about two decades. I started painting as a hobby in 2004 and and realised that I had been an artist, rather than a game developer, for all of my life and devoted my life to art. From the start I immediately wanted to portray ideas rather than mere copies of things. My temperament is romantic: emotion is the root of great art, and like a Romantic composer, I want to display my feelings, skill, and imagination; make the amount of work evident, and strive to master my skills. I reject what is easy and automated. Art must always push boundaries.

The Passion of Anna. This is part two of a triptych about the life of Swedish film maker Ingmar Bergman. The series is designed to evoke a mood, the mood of some of his Faro island works, the bleak but raw connection with nature. This painting depicts Liv Ullmann and the title is the title of one of Bergman's works. Together, all thee paintings are gentle, subtle works developed with music in mind, perhaps a complex interplay of feelings like a Sibelius work. This painting is oil on MDF, a smooth surface that gives a photorealistic quality. I paint in several layers for maximum depth of beauty and detail.

My instincts are rebellious and my artistic heroes are Ludwig van Beethoven, I sympathise with his struggle and I love his music, and Ingmar Bergman, for his great intellectual insight into relationships and the human condition. Music is a strong influence in my visual art. I aim to paint symphonies of paint with universal themes, and often used recurring visual elements like a musical motif or idée fixe. As a pianist and composer myself, I echo in paint the processes that take place as I compose.

The Observation of Decadence. This is a fragment of a panel. The work was developed for a project about coffee, something of a luxury, the luxury of spending time in a cafe. This was the core of this idea; the black man representing being shut out of a rich person's world, represented by the fragment of the woman's face on his, a profile of a film star. The man here is Oscar Devereaux Micheaux, the first successful African American film maker from the silent era, and so a pioneer in a caucasian world.

As well as a painter I am active in all areas of art; I produce an arts TV show for YouTube calle ArtSwarm, and perform as a pianist and as part of music duo Fall in Green. I have founded a record label, Cornutopia Music, and have released 30 albums over the past 28 years. I founded Pentangel Books to publish my books and have published poetry, imaginative fiction and, this month, an academic book on art "21st Century Surrealism", as well as illustrated many books for others. I have also developed over 50 computer games, run a sound effects library for game developers, a curate a monthly art performance evening at a local venue.

Threads of Love as Comfort. This is about grasping for comfort, or escapism, a theme I have explored a few times. We can spend time searching, wasting time, checking emails, hoping, for what? Reaching for some sort of comfort. This painting has erotic tones, but clashes this with the snuffed candle of the mountain, indicating deadness, and the pain of the scarred monolithic figure. Like most of my work, the concept was unconscious rather than overtly planned, so even my interpretation of the work is merely an interpretation. A common theme in my work is grasping, searching, reaching; like all artists. We must explore and push to the new. For me success is not rest, not security, it is dynamism.

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