This week Brighton Journal spoke to local artist, Richard Pelling. Richard combines geometric forms, landscapes and muted colours in his oil paintings, and frequently finds inspiration in the “rolling shapes of the South Downs.” Now painting full time from his Lewes-based studio, Richard has worked internationally with clients such as Missoni, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. We discussed Richard’s most exciting projects, as well as his favourite things to do locally. Take a look at his wonderful work.
What are you doing today?
Painting a flat colour over less-successful paintings to have a fresh canvases to work on at the same time as making a couple of frames for new paintings.
Describe where you do most of your creative work.
In my studio above an extension as it feels more secluded away from the house.
What’s the most exciting thing you’ve worked on?
A range of print-designs for the Italian fashion company Missoni that were used in their fashion show.
What made you decide to become an artist?
The love of experimenting with colour and the never ending curiosity of how a painting will turn-out as I constantly alter a painting as I go along.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on my old staple geometrical, textured paintings but in a smaller size to appeal to a wider range of buyer.
What are the key themes in your work?
Simple geometrics, landscapes and lovely muted colours.
What would you like people to notice about your work?
To see past the simple forms to the contemplated colours. The forms are just a tool in order to place colours next to each other.
What attracts you to the medium you work in?
The depth of colour, the textures that can be achieved and the slow drying process which can allow for alterations for hours.
What equipment could you not do without?
Surgical knives, thick paper to cut out my shapes and a large roll of kitchen paper to wipe my brushes.
Who or what inspires you?
Mid-century artists like Rothko, Robert Sadler and Munch for there un-usual colour pallets.
How is your work affected by living in this area?
Definitely the rolling shapes of the South Downs and the easy access to Cass Art shop in Brighton.
What’s your favourite thing to do locally?
Cycling off-road looking for landscape ideas, swimming at Tide Mills and of course pub-lunches.
What’s your favourite gallery (or place to see/experience art)?
I love going to the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea for the space as much as seeing the art.
If you could collaborate with one artist, from any time, who would it be and why?
It would be fantastic to collaborated with Anne Rothenstein as her colour use is great and her paintings lend themselves perfectly to stencil forms which I love using. Her paintings are powerful and simplistic at the same time.
What’s your favourite colour?
Without a doubt green as there are so many different types and variations. Far more than any other colour.