My name is Mark Bagally, I live on the Surf Coast of Victoria, and I’ve been painting since the late 1990's, finally taking the plunge into full time in 2016. I began my journey experimenting in oil and tried various mediums and genres until finally returning to oil and finding my niche as a landscape painter. I’m often asked how I got into art, given my previous occupation, as a police detective spanned 35 years and they seem polar opposites, well serendipitously in fact. Around 1998, I was busy at work and art, as such, had never entered my mind in any way shape or form. One particular morning, I literally woke up with an over-whelming desire to paint something. I’m not sure what had subconsciously triggered that craving. It’s one of life’s unsolved mysteries. In any event, later that morning, I found myself aimlessly sourcing painting materials at a local art supply shop, placing a great deal of faith in the store attendant. I went home and painted a portrait over several weeks a bit at a time. I was quite pleased with the result. More importantly, I found I was totally absorbed and captivated when applying paint and totally free from pondering work. It was quite therapeutic. At that stage it hadn’t entered my head to take classes and there was no real access to internet tutorials such as YouTube. Looking back, I wished I had committed to some type of art class. So, in the years between this life-altering event and my retirement, I dabbled around with painting and had intermittent outbursts of artistic excitement but nothing serious. I tried a few different things, read some books, and bought a few arts related CDs. I can say I was somewhat hooked, but I had no idea where I was going with it. As time went on, the only aspect of my art that I was sure about was my preference of oil over acrylic. I hadn’t tried watercolour, thinking it was far too difficult. Fast forward to my retirement and transition to an artist. Free from the encumbrances of work, I could now get a real run-on learning to paint properly. Not being interested in a life of leisure, I had decided art was going to be my next career, albeit I was starting later in life. The beauty of art is that you can start at any age. I set myself up in the garage at home and commenced to paint with gusto. The change in career had also coincided with sea change and a move to the Surf Coast of Victoria. I was immediately drawn to painting seascapes given my proximity to the Great Ocean Road. I initially took a couple of art classes and a few short workshops, all of which I picked up bits and pieces from, but to be honest, none of these took my art to the next level. I felt I needed tuition that was more intense and challenging. I attended a week-long workshop at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains with John Wilson, a successful and distinguished Australian landscape painter and teacher. That week completely changed and influenced my painting and, in my view, took my work to that next level. I decided from that point on, to spend the money and only attend classes and workshops tutored by artists of note that would provide ‘bang for your buck’ in progressing my work. I have so much respect and admiration for the talented artists who have made a full-time career out of art and done the hard yards to get where they are. So far along my artistic journey, I’ve met some fabulous people, generous with their time and advice and completely unpretentious. I try and do something art related every day, whether it be painting or sketching, practicing brushstrokes or colour mixing, or any combination of these activities. I am an avid collector and reader of art books, both historical and technical and I’m constantly engaged in self-education via the internet. My studio is full of art books, videos, and other art related material. In 2019 I completed a Certificate IV in Visual Arts. My works have been exhibited at various Victorian and interstate art shows, and I have been the recipient of several awards including winner of the National Contemporary Art Award 2019. Although I enjoy working in my studio, my real passion is painting outdoors en plein air. I travel quite extensively throughout Victoria and New South Wales in pursuit of this passion. I draw much inspiration for seascapes from my doorstep with the Great Ocean Road a short drive away. I also like to paint landscapes in the rural areas of Victoria, particularly the Grampians and Alpine regions, and along the Murray, King, and Campaspe rivers. I consider myself to be an impressionist painter and enjoy painting landscapes, seascapes, and urban street scenes. I enjoy the challenge of creating a believable impression of a scene and I am inspired by renowned past and present Australian landscape impressionists, several of whom I've had the pleasure of being tutored by over the years at various advanced workshops. I believe the key to my progression has been lots of practice (brush miles) and a disciplined self-education regime. I paint mostly in oil and indeed all of my commissioned work has been oil based. However, I have taken a real liking to watercolour which I find quite challenging. I now work and study both mediums in studio and en plein air. In addition to being an exhibiting member on the Council of the Victorian Artist's Society, I am a member of various groups and societies including the Watercolour Society of Victoria, the Australian Guild of Realist Artists and the Contemporary Art Society. I am also an Exhibiting Member, National Vice President and National Treasurer of the Australian Society of Marine Artists (ASMA).
Other than completing a Certificate IV in Visual Arts in 2019, I am a self-taught artist.
We would like to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our building stands, their leaders, past, present and emerging.