Paul Rees watercolour artist - profile

about2For the last 35 years Paul has lived in Bushey, Watford, Hertfordshire. He paints traditional watercolour landscapes of local scenes, scenes from Hertfordshire, particularly the Chess valley, canals, and scenes from further away for example from the New Forest or the coast.

Paul was born in the early 1950’s as part of the post war baby boom. So that gives his age away, but maybe some hope too, for those of you who have always meant to paint, but somehow the years have ticked by and you are now ready to start!

As a member of a very large family, Paul’s childhood was spent in a busy crowded environment, with not much calm space. He used to go out whenever he could, walking or cycling, all the local lanes and countryside, especially in the warmer months. In those days, he did quite a lot of drawing and painting at home. These were mostly imaginary landscapes. He especially loved the art lessons in all his schools.

After secondary school, Paul’s art went on to the back burner. One gets nudged into other channels like getting a job … However, he always felt that he was some sort of artist, but, never quite got down to it … as the saying goes “life is what happens while you’re planning something else”

Well it was about 1995, relaxed and on holiday in Wiltshire. The family were walking down the high street in Shaftesbury when Paul spotted a little watercolour paint box on display in Hardings (Perhaps the shop is still there?) They drifted past the shop window a few times, as people do, on holiday, and each time he had to stop and look. In the end he was “allowed” to buy it, together with a pad of paper. That afternoon he sat out in the beautiful garden of the holiday house, and painted the nasturtiums. He still has this little painting! Well that was it! He has painted on and off ever since, the off bit mainly being work and other commitments.

Shortly after his Wiltshire experience, Paul went on a Ron Ranson course in Lydney, Gloucestershire, where Ron used to live. Paul found Ron quite inspirational with his big brush and generous dollops of paint. There he also learnt a little about Ed Seago, Roland Hilder, Edward Wesson, John Yardley and a few others as Ron had quite a few books, many of which he had written, and some pictures too. Over the years, Paul went on several Ron Ranson painting courses. Paul painted in a sort of Ron Ranson way for a few years, and every now and again, if he is feeling a bit stuck, he reverts back to this for a few mad days.

Meantime, for a few years, Paul took up evening classes at Una’s in Pinner. After a busy day at work, this was a calm, friendly and supportive time, not to mention chocolate biscuits ...

Over the next few years, Paul went on a couple of demonstration weeks with John Yardley at Dedham hall. Watching John paint was such a beautiful and inspiring experience, John’s concentration and razor sharp sense of humour. Doing it yourself was another matter. Well when you go on these courses, you have to have the same equipment as the master, don’t you? So there he was with the large pads of Arches rough, (Paul is not even sure if that’s what John was using), the colours and the brushes for the very first time. Needless to say he couldn’t quite emulate the master, or even produce anything as good as he’d been doing before! But he did learn quite a lot …

These days, Paul has uncluttered his space, and more importantly his time, so that he can paint most days. Over the last few years he has started to master some of the technical challenges and develop his own style of traditional watercolour landscape painting.

There is still a lot more to learn ... and a lot more to paint!

Best wishes to everybody out there.

Paul Rees watercolour artist - February 2015