'Visiting a new city or seeing a piece of historic architecture inspires my artistic practice' says new Pastel Society member, Richard Rees. 'I take a sketch book and camera with me on my travels to record the most interesting sights, and use these records to form works of art in oil pastel. I'm drawn to distinctive patterns, colours, and shapes, so even though my works in this year’s Pastel Society exhibition depict locations as far flung as Somerset and Yemen, they are linked by this overarching focus.'
'In my UK scenes, it was the patterns that spoke to me. I liked the floating grids of light at Canary Wharf and the mysterious river reflections. For Clevedon Pier, Somerset it was the curved and gridded structure of the supports for the pier, dark against the blue Bristol Channel behind. For Falmouth Boats 2, I liked the dancing rhythm of the sails and their contrast with the sky, sea and land.'
'At Eguisheim, a medieval village in France’s Alsace wine region, I found traditional timber frame structures, overhanging roofs, and pastel colours which looked like they had come straight out of a fairytale.'
'My fifth oil pastel in the Pastel Society Annual Exhibitoin 2019, which is open from 5 February to 16 February 2019, is of Shibam in Yemen. It is the only place I've depicted that I have not visited, and as the country is now caught in the grips of a tragic civil war, it is currently impossible to do so. This World Heritage Site City is unique in having hundreds of eleven storey mud towers, dating from the Middle Ages. I was captivated by photos of the patterns these created and added my own colour interpretation.'
'Although I am still travelling a lot, my next subject is a series inspired by the Thames Bridges in London. Each work will gradually reveal more of the building's structure, forms, and variations. I'm also working on depictions of a Pueblo settlement at Mesa Verde, and a multi-windowed façade in Berat, Albania.'