The portability and immediacy of pastels that makes them ideal for capturing the countryside while out on long walks, also makes them perfect for documenting the urban.
Now that more of us live in urban areas than ever before, and with the current restrictions on movement meaning many of us are exploring closer to home and finding the beauty in settings we previously simply travelled through to get to The Countryside, it seems the perfect time to collect together works from The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition that explore the Urban and Industrial.
Elizabeth Nast specialises in urban scenes. By depicting the ordinary in life, people going about their business, disused buildings and graffiti-covered walls, the artist seeks to show the world, that the ordinary in life can be both interesting and beautiful.
Elizabeth Nast Bradford, End of the Dark Satanic Mills Pastel £695
Elizabeth Nast Whitechapel Disappearing Pastel £895
Side street off Whitechapel Road, set to disappear with the building of a new Whitechapel Station.
"Opposite my studio in Redruth, Cornwall is an old mining area called Great South Wheal Tolgus. I find these old buildings fascinating as they sit on top of the abandoned copper and tin lode below, in varying states of decay.
I love the contrast between the dark stone walls in shadow and the puddles reflecting the sky. The buildings are due for demolition as part of a redevelopment of the area and another part of our history will be lost. I really enjoyed exploring the site on foot and with my charcoal and graphite in the drawing." – Andrew Barrowman
Andrew Barrowman Waiting for the Bulldozers Pencil & Charcoal £595
"Drawn during this lockdown period from sketches I made on location and photos I took of New York a couple of years ago. In this quiet time, I miss the hustle and bustle of cities, I wanted my marks to convey the movement and energy of the place and its people, this drawing looks towards a time when this will be the norm and we can travel and visit cities once again." – Jeanette Barnes
Jeanette Barnes Ticket Booth Grand Central Station New York Pencil & Charcoal £2,400
"This is when I feel that home is within touching distance when we cross from the south to the north on Tower Bridge. We are all tired after two days of driving through the snow and it's good to be back whatever the weather." – Shelley Bewtra
Shelley Bewtra Coming Home Soft pastel £800
"One of the unbelievably vivid sunsets which happen across the river near to the city of Detroit, Michigan." – Ann Dangerfield
Ann Dangerfield Detroit River at Sunset Pastel £545
"The view of Trellick tower from a moving train." – Stuart Jarvis
Stuart Jarvis Trellick Tower Charcoal £500
"This is part of a series exploring the interaction between city and trees in the urban environment they are placed in and sometimes constrained by.
Vibrant colour is used to show the energy and life they introduce into their surroundings" – Teresa Lawler
Teresa Lawler Urban Tree 2 Pastel & graphite £1,050
"Drawing of St Ann's Square, Manchester at Chinese New Year.
I have used willow and compressed charcoal with a small amount of Unison white pastel as highlights. The drawing is mounted with an offwhite mount behind glass in a black wooden frame." – Sarah Morley
Sarah Morley St Ann's Square Manchester at Chinese New Year Charcoal & pastel £550
"5,000 Tonnes II is my second study of the High-Level Bridge in Newcastle Upon Tyne, a study of light, shadow, perspective and texture." – Jonathan Stockley
Jonathan Stockley 5,000 Tonnes II Charcoal £750
"I am always struck by the contrasts that are experienced when viewing the Tata Steelworks in Port Talbot. At one extreme there are the dark black buildings of various shapes and sizes with their sooty residues and at the other the sudden bursts of white steam and bright glimpses of the sky penetrating the ironwork structures. I have used the charcoal to try and portray the excitement of this tonal variation.
A blast furnace may not be an immediately appealing image but here I was fascinated by the patterns and subtle colours created by the pipes, platforms and staircases." – Andy Thornley