Blue Man – Oil on Canvas

The Blue Man, oil on canvas Mark wallis the vibes

Blue Man by Mark Wallis, 1999 oil on canvas. Click on image to enlarge

Oil paint is the most fantastic medium, versatile and rugged. The smell of linseed oil, the rolling of sleeves and the dirtying of hands are my idea of painting. Mistakes can be moved or wiped and the colours can be propelled around the canvas with as much passion or restraint as you like. Most artists I speak to are afraid to use them, but the rich, deep colours last for ever and the results speak for themselves.

Blue Man was my first attempt at painting in oils, and although it’s 13 years old I’m very proud of it. That and the fact that it sold before it was even completed. It’s a bold image which reflects how I felt at the time which was a bit frayed around the edges, and like early Hockney I based the painting on a photograph from an adult magazine. This particular image appealed to me enormously as it smashed the myth of men and their emotions. To see a big strong man in such a vulnerable pose was enigmatic and inspirational.

I still can’t do feet…

Categories: Art, Photography, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Post navigation

30 thoughts on “Blue Man – Oil on Canvas

  1. Reblogged this on acipender.

  2. Herman

    Impressive! Love it.

  3. Stevo

    he’s a chunky fella isnt he? Love it. You really are renaisance man aren’t you!

    • Cheers, Stevo. He is quite a big guy, which is why I picked him for the painting. And the pose just floored me. I’d love to know who the photographer was…

  4. He’s fabulous. And what’s wrong with the foot? Five toes make it a foot…end of 🙂

  5. I believe it takes a very strong man to accept being vulnerable. I realize most people don’t agree with me, but to be vulnerable takes courage.

    • Physical strength versus strength of character… the eternal male dilemma ❓

      • similar, but reversed for women. if we’re too strong we’re ‘bitches’. if we’re ‘submissive’ we lose our essence. i love eleanor roosevelt’s quote “a woman is like a tea bag, you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water’.

  6. You’re truly a great artist. I love this and the feelings that come through in it – really nice.

    • It’s really good of you to say that, and although I don’t think I’m that great, I really appreciate it!

  7. Beautiful painting.

  8. Pingback: Psychedelic Blue Man « the vibes

  9. Wow! i think we can thank marianne for the connecting part between our two blogs? i love your work, the original design of your site, and your honest writing style! thanks so much for stopping by, which led me here!
    my first self portrait was in blue, and when i saw this i thought, ‘hmmm. i reached for blue when i was dealing with some difficult issues.. i wonder if this piece has similar beginnings.’
    i don’t think i’ve ever done anything in pure blue since, though i seemed to transmute what was inside of me via the blue and on to the paper.


    • Hi Zeebra, yes Marianne was the link. Thanks for your compliments, I really appreciate you taking the time to write. Although it isn’t a self-portrait (my legs aren’t that beefy) I think it reflects a side of my character from all those years ago. I just saw indigos and inky denim colours in my mind and tried to translate them onto the canvas, but being partially colour-blind it came out a lot brighter than I intended. I’m very much a purple and orange person now!

      • wow; if you’re color ‘deficient,’ i would think that the oranges looked more yellow.. i’ll bet yellows and blues seem the prettiest to you. both of my sons are color deficient, so i understand – the best i can!
        i like the brightness! it glows!

      • I’m very drawn to yellow, it’s true. Sunlight, sunsets, fire and honey! I have a child-like need for warm, bright colours to keep me smiling.

      • smiling is important, so by all means, surround yourself with bright happy colors!!!! z

  10. Mark, this is awesome, and I love what you have to say about it! I missed this when you posted it, but I’m glad you referred to it in today’s post. I really need to get some oil paints. I’m just not happy with acrylics.

  11. Thank you! That means so much more coming from a fellow artist. I tested my first set of oils by doing a mini portrait of my mischievous cat Frogmella, but unfortunately I lost the painting. So this is my first real piece. Oils are great fun to use, but they might not be so great for commercial deadlines – either way I can’t wait to see your results.

  12. Pingback: Garden Smoke | the vibes

  13. I love your blog !!! I will be back to visit again!!! 🙂 *Cynthia

  14. Salforddave

    Hi Mark . I took my time but you know me well . It’s beautiful to read your description. Still my favourate painting . , David x

    And so pleased you sold it to me . X

Let me know what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: