Nick Schlee

Site Number: 31
Drawing and painting
Bridge over backwater, Pangbourne. Oil Pastel. A3 size.

About the paintings

Usually painters paint water just as the camera captures it recording how it looks in a single fraction of a second. The image is frozen. The person looking at the pictures probably recognises the image as one of a sequence they have themselves have seen, whether a slow swirl reflected on a swimming pool bottom, or the spitting spray on the crest of a wave. Their memory fills in the blanks either side of that frozen moment.

When Nick Schlee tried to single out one particular moment to record in paint he found his eye darted about the water’s surface without stopping, distracted from one flash of the sun to another even more inviting. His eyes were led a merry dance across a myriad of attractions, and he found it increasingly difficult to try and assimilate exactly what he was looking at.

His solution was to assemble a conglomeration of pastel strokes that suggested the rapid moves his eyes had to make when surveying various portions of the turmoil of movement before them.

The result is a chaos of unpredictable lines and curves of direction scattered over the whole.

Schlee’s pictures are so full of energy, drawing on the agitated excitement his own eyes must have enjoyed.


Reading and NE region
Upper Basildon
Use RG8 8LU in SatNav. On arrival in Upper Basildon, ring Nick on landline 01491 671 664.
Wheelchair accessible