Nick Schlee

Nick Schlee
nickschlee@waitrose.com
www.nickschlee.co.uk


Nick Schlee
Copse in meadow', 81 x 101 cm 

I am usually in a state of high anticipation when I go out to sketch. I have to find a subject that stops me in my tracks. If I am not excited how will the picture I draw ever excite anyone else? I usually draw from the car. If I have to, I get out and work leaning on the bonnet.

I first try to make a mental verbal note, on an imaginary index card, of those elements that have made the initial impact on me. Putting the scene into words forces me to think and analyse what it is I am looking at. Working at speed I then try to capture all those essential components I decided made the scene worth recording. I leaving out detail I might discover on closer observation unless they help consolidate the picture I set out to make. I am careful about getting the essentials only and take great care to get everything in the right place.

Nick Schlee
Copse in Basildon Park

Later, when painting up the oil pastel in oils, I approximate the same calligraphic marks of the sketch with my brushstrokes. They are the key to the liveliness of my pictures. The long shadows and golden light of the evening help make the pictures atmospheric and moving.

I only choose subjects that in some way excite my eye and so I use slightly heightened colour and accented linear rhythms to create that same excitement in the viewer.

Back in the studio I paint from the sketch following it closely, painting it up to a large size in oil paint, the bigger the picture the more you get a feeling of being right there, actually in the landscape.

Nick Schlee
Trees at Basildon Park, 92 x 107 cm

I paint mainly landscapes of the country along the Ridgeway in West Berkshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire. These days the countryside is eerily bereft of people. But I find that the trees, whether close or far away on the tops of hills, become the animating element. They congregate in congenial clumps, sometimes menacing like ancient armies awaiting battle. Some trees deserve a picture to themselves suggesting restlessness or repose and always implying strength and longevity.

Nick Schlee
Stones and beech trees, 82 x 97 cm