At the age of 27, Mark was elected to become the youngest Full Member of the Guild of Aviation Artists and shortly after, left photography to make a full time profession in aviation art. His knowledge of his subject was put to the test only a month after when he competed in and won the TV quiz show The $64,000 Question answering questions on the Battle of Britain. His work so impressed the host Bob Monkhouse that he bought one of Mark’s originals there and then.
Around this time, Mark was contacted by the Chairman of 30 Squadron Association RAF with a view to commissioning him to paint a 75th anniversary painting for the Squadron. He drove down to their base at RAF Lyneham and for the first time came into contact with the life that he had so wanted as a schoolboy. “The first thing that struck me was why I hadn’t considered joining the RAF in a different trade apart from flying” , Mark reflects, It honestly just never crossed my mind at the time, it was either flying or nothing.
The subsequent painting was received with great acclaim within the RAF and soon commissions were rolling in on a regular basis from various Squadrons including a three year association with the world famous RAF Aerobatic Team The Red Arrows.
Click on an image for further details.