The PBAA artist featured in our gallery for May is Les Cornish, someone best known for his distinctive pastel seascapes and fishing-boat-themed paintings, as well as for wildlife, architectural and landscape art.
Born in South Africa, Les creates art with both oils and pastels. But it was pastels that he mastered quickly, and, almost as quickly, his pastel art gained recognition and popularity. This resulted in regular exhibitions of his work and featured-artist status in galleries in Johannesburg and along the southern coast.
Then, after immigrating to the US in 2001, Les settled in Frisco, Texas, where he continued to paint the South African scenes that that inspired him. But traveling in 2012, he and his wife, Natalie, made a fateful visit to the southern Oregon coast.
As Les recalls, “We loved the natural beauty, people, climate and area so much that, a year later, we moved from Texas to Brookings. If you’ve been to the South African Cape coast, you can relate to the draw of the Oregon and northern Californian coastline. They are very similar.”
Today, with his artwork in embassies, corporate offices, and private homes in locations that include the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and southern African countries, Les is an international artist and has many repeat customers. Still, he readily accepts commissions.
Or, as Les tells potential clients, “If you have a photo of the place you love, I’ll create one for your wall in oils or pastels.” And often, it’s one of those coastal seascape commissions that you'll find Les working on in his Brookings studio if you happen to pay him a visit.
More examples of Les Cornish pastels and oils can be explored on his website: www.lescornishfineart.com