Marcus Oclee

When I was a child, I was dyslexic but back then it was not well recognised. All I knew was I could not write or read well… but give me something to draw and I could do that, no problem. As a boy, I definitely started out with drawing cars. Things like Herby. Then as I went into my teenage years I was definitely drawn a little more towards the female form. I completed images on friends’ walls, skateboards, often almost life size.

Some people love to read books for hours, I just love to draw or paint and find it’s relaxing and calming. Alongside this, I also enjoy model making and have done this with cars, tanks, and motorbikes which introduced me to Matt Enamel Paints. I like them for the way they blend, and the vibrant colour they can produce and now use them for all of the images I produce.

I’ve never had any training in art. I even failed my high school GCSE’s (the type of exam we have in the UK) but honestly, I don’t think I would have enjoyed the academic side of going to university. It was not meant for me.

After I finished school, I was encouraged by my granddad to train to be a carpenter. It was a great choice, as a finishing carpenter, I get to use a little of my artistic flair. This introduced me to MDF and one of my mediums to paint on was born.

Currently, I love painting on MDF, blank skateboards, and even the odd snowboard. The progression of my style and techniques has just come from trying different types of images and trying to give the most real experience.

The Female, similar to something from Tomb Raider was something I came up with a when I was around 18yrs,. From there I took an interest in Motorbike Racing particular MotoGP which inspired me to paint images from photographs from races. I get lost in the time it takes to do these images according to my wife. She takes note of the hours she loses me to my art, and it can take up to 60 hours of work to do.

Since I’ve been in Canada I’ve been commissioned to create black, white or grey animals from Africa and became inspired to do elephants and zebras, and that inspiration has continued for me with my recent group of paintings. The eyes are important as they are the soul of the animal, and I like to show them in a calm state.

I love Fernie for the number of different artists there are. I have never thought of myself as part of the art community, its only because of the encouragement my wife and friends provide me, especially Joey Kosolofski who’s work I admire, that I am doing my first event showing of my paintings. I am always surprised and pleased when people like what I do and even want to buy them. I hope to get more inspiration from the area we live in and start doing more animals native to our area.

Marcus’ first art show is opening at Inside Out Wellness this October 13, from 6pm and everyone is welcome. For more information, email him directly at