The late Mark Leach was a leading figure in the world of contemporary pastel painting with many prizes and publications to his name. His pastel work is recognised as a leader in the field of contemporary landscape art, and his work sits in many private and public collections all over the world. He was a member of the Federation of British Artists and President elect of The Pastel Society.
His work, whether landscape, cityscape or still life, concerns the place of man in nature. Through simple colour and form an essential truth and harmony are sought. His cool minimalist style is deceptively simple yet powerfully evocative. He creates a mood and atmosphere with a limited range of colour. Leach said:
"All my works are primarily concerned with colour composition. Each painting attempts to create a spirit of place through an emotional response to colour. To this end I find that limiting the colour range enhances a particular mood or emotion. One of the primary colours usually dominates: blue for reflection / introspection; yellow for hope/anticipation/promise; red for immediacy, the here and now. The use of closely related secondary colours and tonal variations tell the story."
A slight touch of complementary colour can bring the painting to life although Leach felt that a truly successful composition should not need this. He said the key colour should hold the painting together giving equal importance to all areas so the picture is read as a whole with a singular mood or ambience created.