Mark Pendlebury

February 21, 2019

Alfred Beckett & Ball Street Bridge by Mark Pendlebury

Pen and Ink

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The Alfred Beckett and Sons Ltd building awkwardly straddles one end of the Ball Street Bridge in the Kelham Island Quarter. I love the original signage painted on the white washed wall. The Ball Street bridge was built in 1856 and is grade II listed. It’s quite impressive. I usually work from a photograph but I couldn’t find one of this scene that I was happy with so it’s a composite from several views. It’s part of a series of 8 drawings of the Kelham Island Quarter in Sheffield. Kelham Island was at the heart of the industrial revolution in Sheffield but today it’s a centre for tourism. I visited the area a lot before the pandemic as my son was a chef in one of the many great restaurants in the area. I started the series drawing my son’s restaurant The Milestone but there are so many interesting buildings in the area I just carried on. I highly recommend a visit.

Hi, I’m Mark. I’ve drawn on and off all my life. As a child I would draw on anything with anything. Growing up in a working class family in the 70sart supplies were a luxury so ball point pens and cereal cartons were put to good use. I never actually studied art until I took an Art and Design course with the Open College of the Arts in my 20s.

With a young family, a mortgage and a demanding career in ITI could never find the time to devote to art.30 years later my kids are grown, the mortgage is paid off and I’ve recently retired from IT.

I’m now trying to make a living from art and I have never been happier. My favourite medium is ink. I love the clarity and contrast that drawing in dark lines gives. I find it absorbing; the concentration required forces total focus. You can’t erase ink you have to work with what you’ve laid down. I try and strike a balance between realism and impressionism so my style is correct perspective and proportion with a loose sketchiness. I hope you like the results.

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