Imaginative Realism - Mark Heine -
Mark Heine, “Labyrinth,” oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in.

Meet Mark Heine, an artist, an author, and this week’s top Realism Today Ambassador.

About Mark Heine:

Mark Heine ( was raised by artists to be an artist. His was a childhood spent wandering his father’s massive warehouse studio, absorbing the progress and process of the monumental projects underway. It was art by the ton, measured in yards, not inches. There were always diverse skills in action, to watch and learn from . . . sculptors, designers, architects, and artisans, working in plaster, resin, concrete, fibreglass, wood, stained glass, tapestry, and, of course, paint. Mark’s father, Harry Heine, RSMA, CSMA, FCA, NNWWs (1928–2004), would eventually became one of Canada’s most celebrated artists, culminating with his election to the Royal Society of Marine Artists in England. He is the only Canadian ever to have achieved that status.

As a child, Mark and his family toured and sketched the great cities of the world, immersed in galleries and architecture, first as students, then eventually as instructors — from the masters, learning the learnable . . . technique, colour, composition, and so on, but also developing the sensitivity to recognize the intangible conceptual aspects, which make the difference between a mere rendering and a work of art.

In his teens, Heine was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Art Scholarship, eventually graduating with honours from the Applied Arts Program at Capilano University in Vancouver, British Columbia. He established his own studio and, over the course of 37 years, has worked with agents and galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Denver, Philadelphia, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver, where he has been showing with some of the most recognized artists in North America. His work can also be found in galleries and collections throughout Europe, including the European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM) in Barcelona, Spain. Corporate commissions for clients such as Sony, Disney, Starbucks, and many others have garnered him more than 40 national and international awards, and the Art Renewal Center has designated him an “Associate Living Master.” Heine’s work has also appeared in numerous print and online publications, including the magazines Hi-Fructose, Beautiful Bizarre, Magazin’Art, Applied Arts, American Art Collector, International Artist, The Guide Artist, Poets and Artists, The Artist’s Magazine, and The Creators Project.

Heine has come to realize that he is a storyteller. Writing has long been a key component of his creative process, and the symbiotic relationship of these two distinct disciplines has led to a unique approach to both. Bringing one of those stories to life — to larger than life — marrying fiction to painting, is the focus of his most recent works: the Sirens series. Each of his paintings is a captured moment in his coming book, Sirens, a work of fiction in the genre of imaginative realism.

​Mark, his wife and creative collaborator Lisa Leighton, and their two daughters, Sarah and Charlotte, live in beautiful Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

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From Mark Heine:

Part of my Sirens series, “Labyrinth” (featured at top) is the visualization of a key moment in my coming book entitled Sirens. A contemporary reinterpretation of the misunderstood femme fatal of Homer’s Odyssey, Sirens is a fusion of ancient Greek and the mysterious spoken mythology of the First Nations Peoples of the West Coast of Canada. The story examines humankind’s ambiguous and destructive relationship with the natural world. The story point on “Labyrinth” … Aerica hovers close in the labyrinth, keeping watch for the threat of the opportunistic. She’s done what she can to help. Any more and she risks being discovered.

Imaginative realism paintings - Mark Heine -
Mark Heine, “Envoy,” oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in.

“Envoy” (from my Sirens series) is the visualization of a key moment in my coming book entitled Sirens. The story point of “Envoy” . . . An envoy arrives with a message for Aerica. However, his less than savory reputation precedes him.

Figurative oil paintings - Mark Heine -
Mark Heine, “Imminent, study,” oil on canvas, 30 x 36 in.

“Imminent, study” (also from my Sirens series) is the visualization of a key moment in my coming book entitled Sirens. The story point for “Imminent, study” . . . Time is short and panic is setting in. Sarah, glimpsing a flash of motion from the corner of her eye, turns and is shocked at the sight. A wall of red is closing in . . . hunting her. There’s only one chance for escape. A large ocean swell washes over her head, and she makes a desperate break for the shore.

Related > Browse portrait and figure workshops from Streamline Premium Art Video,and learn how to paint the style of realism