Scot who worked as Asda for a decade appointed to Royal arts society


A SCOT who worked in Asda for 10 years has been awarded one of the highest accolades in the world of art.

Mark Roscoe has been chosen to become a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, of which there are only currently 53 members in the world.

The 41-year-old from Kirkcaldy, Fife, is one of only two Scottish members of the society, and the first artist from north of the border to be appointed in eight years.

Mark next to his award-winning portrait of Dr Archie Brain
Mark next to his award-winning portrait of Dr Archie Brain

Mr Roscoe says he “worked his ass off for 20 years” to achieve the membership, which included a decade at Asda alongside a college course whilst raising a young family.

His nomination to the join the prestigious society, whose patron is the Queen, was made by existing members on the basis of portfolio work he had submitted over the years.

He once painted TV presenter Bill Oddie
He once painted TV presenter Bill Oddie

The Scottish artist has painted a number of famous faces over the years, including Cardinal Keith O’Brien before his fall from grace, and television presenter Bill Oddie.

The father-of-two said it had taken a lot of hard work to get to this point in his career and that portrait painting is not as “lucrative” as some might think.

He said: “I worked my ass off for 20 years to get the membership.

“I worked in Asda for the four years I was at art college and then for the six years after that.

“People think that portrait painting is a lucrative career but they can take a while to paint. My latest commission took almost two years of full time work while looking after my children at the same time.”

A recent portrait of Mark's wife, Clare
A recent portrait of Mark’s wife, Clare

He continued: “About six years ago, my wife suggested I stick to one section of art so I concentrated on portraits which has really helped.

“I am so happy to have made it but it has taken me years of hard graft to get to this stage and my family has had to make lots of sacrifices along the way.

“It’s a great honour and I am hopeful that it may start to open more doors for me and get me more prestigious commissions in the future.

“It’s brilliant to finally be elected to the society. I think i’m only one of two Scots to have membership, which is great. ”

Mr Roscoe studied at the Duncan of Jordanston School of Art in Dundee and has painted famous figures such as shamed Cardinal Keith O’Brien as well as the Prince of Malaysia and his family.

He also featured on the BBC programme ‘Star Portraits’ when he painted the wildlife presenter, Bill Oddie.

The other Scottish member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters is Stephen Shankland RP, who has painted the likes of famous golfer, Arnold Palmer, and the founder of Primark, Arthur Ryan.