The Tyneside RNLI volunteer lifeboatman whose artwork has captured celebrity fans like Sam Fender

Mark Taylor
Sam Fender is one of Mark Taylor's celebrity fans. Credit: Mark Taylor

A Tyneside artist who divides his time between painting and saving lives with the RNLI, has won a spot to display his work at a prestigious show in London.

Mark Taylor, 43, is a volunteer coxswain at the RNLI lifeboat station in North Shields, and he uses his experiences at sea to inspire his artwork.

His fans include the likes of Sam Fender and Duran Duran's Andy Taylor.

One of his paintings, depicting life on the North Shields fish quay in 1905, beat 2,500 other entries from around the world to earn him the spot at the Marine exhibition in London.

Mark's work is inspired by his life on the North East coast. Credit: Mark Taylor

Mr Taylor said: "I applied for the exhibition to be part of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. It is a very prestigious group to be part of. They looked at the work and they said that they'd like to exhibit it. I couldn't believe it, I was so chuffed."

Mr Taylor has been painting professionally for 11 years and draws his inspiration and techniques from his late father who was also an artist and volunteer for the RNLI.

He said: "I picked up these tools when he got ill with motorneurone disease and I continued his work. He had about a 12 month waiting list for his work and I decided that I would copy his work and emulate his style to continue his legacy. He'd be very proud."

Mark volunteers as a coxswain at the local RNLI station. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

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