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Rebecca de Mendonça
From being a pony mad little girl, I still cannot be in the presence of horses without feeling a strong connection, which I try to share through my artwork. Using the immediate and versatile medium of soft pastels, I like to combine drawing and painting to capture what my subjects ‘feel’ like as well as what they ‘look’ like.
I have always been drawn to atmosphere, and started my art career doing a degree in Theatre Design at Wimbledon School of Art, followed by 10 years working in theatre and interior design in London. I have been painting for 30 years, but it was only when I moved to Devon in 2011 that I could really explore my love of atmosphere, the natural world, and beautiful light. Even now, I paint many different subjects, but my lifelong love of horses always brings me back to them.
As well as connecting with an individual horse, to try and convey their character and mood, I like to explore the relationship between people and horses, from owners and breeders, to farriers, grooms and jockeys.
I also love to see and study wild native breeds in their natural environment, on Exmoor and Dartmoor near me.
My current work, as with all of my subject matter, is becoming more focused on qualities of light, as beautiful light seems to heighten the emotion of a piece.
I became an Associate Member of the UK Society of Equestrian Artists in 2018, and have exhibited with the UK Pastel Society. I was shortlisted for Artist and Illustrators Magazine ‘Artist of the Year Award’ 2017 to 2019, with work included in the exhibitions at the Mall Galleries in London.
I have a strong compulsion to teach and share my love of pastels as a medium, and co-founded The New Pastel School in 2013, to teach pastel courses in Britain and Italy. I write tutorials for art magazines, and my book, ‘Pastels for the Absolute Beginner’ was published by Search Press in 2019.
Rebecca de Mendonça