Pete Rees doesn’t have a self-conscious cell in his body.
A few months ago I saw Pete at a party. He’d had a jar or two, but that’s not the interesting bit. He’d arrived two hours before the party was due to start. Most of us at that point would scuttle off to embarrassed land. Or at least self conciousville. Not Pete. Oh no. Happy as you might, he sat down to dinner with the family, and then stayed ’til the party started. As, in Pete’s world, you do.
I like being around people like that. Happy in their own skin. Leaving those around them softened in their easy company.
This sure footedness comes through in his art. Which, truth be told, is extensive & phenomenal. I don’t use that word lightly. I use it because, well, I’ve heard it so often in respect to his work. Yes folks, phenomenal is accurate.
Check it out for yourself. Here are four of his photo’s.
Pete’s current creative obsession is photography. But that hasn’t always been the case. He started out a painter. Only, his painting got a bit to serious. His words. He got too well known, too in demand. He was being chased by big time galleries in Britain & he didn’t like it. It makes me laugh. How many artists do you talk to these days who don’t want success? Um, I can count one.
Ironically, in my opinion anyway, it’s that come-as-you-may attitude that has everyone in awe of his work. It’s not trying to get anywhere. There’s no arrogance or plump. Just plain old love of doing what he does.
So, so, so refreshing. So lovely to be ’round.
His photographic landscapes are throughly informed by his painterly background. You can pick it, right? Always looking for drama, warm + cool, light + dark. It’s easy to see the artist in his photo’s, after you’ve studied his oil-painted landscapes.
You’d think he’d have painted from Photo’s, back in the day, when painting was his muse. But no. Never. Isn’t that interesting? I think it is.
Pete is so serious about not getting too serious, he teaches art for a living. The work his pupils produce is also remarkable. Testament to Pete’s ability to teach and pass on his ever-so-evident love of creativity.
He reminds me, in a way, of my high school art teacher. Mine was from Bristol, to Pete’s Wales. Perhaps there is something about harking from the UK? A little bit relaxed, a little bit naughty, a big bit passionate for visual arts.
While Michelle and I were interviewing Pete for this article, he swung peerlessly between technical paint mixing conversations (don’t get me started, I love that shite) & geeky camera jargon (not my cuppa but Pete was on fire). He loves a good yarn does our Pete. If you see him at the playground, at the supermarket, on the ferry. Say Hi. Get him going. He’ll love it. And so will you.
Want to know more? Here’s a link to his website.
Big shout out to the amazing Michelle Hepburn for the photo’s of Pete.