Mark Senior came from Dewsbury and trained first at Wakefield School of Art before moving to the Slade, where he formed friendships with Tonks, Brown and especially Steer, whom he accompanied on a painting trip to Walberswick in 1906. His own favourite site for painting was Runswick Bay, and he was a founder member of the Staithes Group of Artists.
It was as a painter of Yorkshire that Senior developed his reputation. The earlier influence of Clausen began to dissipate, and although he was still regarded as possessing Clausen’s poetic feeling for nature, his technique increasingly reflected his interest in Steer, Whistler and the Impressionists. Above all Senior came to be viewed as a colourist. A studio critic in later years felt that the broad treatment and rich impasto of such works as the ‘Flemish Warehouse’ meant that the artist should be seen as ‘one of the best colourists of the Flemish School’. The same writer felt in 1917 that, unlike his friend Orpen, Senior believed with Fromentin that ‘la belle peinture est sans prix’
From 1892-1924 Senior exhibited at the Royal Academy, although much of Mark Senior’s best work was produced for private clients, and in particular for Sam Wilson. He is most frequently cited for bright impressionistic pictures of Staithes and Runswick Bay. At times he employs dense overlays of paint and broken brushwork reminiscent of Lavery in his beach scenes, while, in interiors and his Belgian paintings, he appears under the sway of Clausen.