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Refractions of Light: Pastel Art by Raymond Noesen

A pastel drawing of a mossy branch in a swampSkokie Lagoon, oil and wax pastel on colourfix paper

Raymond Noesen is an artist originally from Chicago who works primarily in pastel. The artist tends toward figurative subjects, using his talent for realistic detail to capture interesting refractions of light or moments of decay that lend a dreamlike quality to real spaces. 

A pastel drawing of the entrance to a building1666, oil and wax pastel on colourfix paper


Most of the works in Raymond’s current are made using a blend of oil and wax pastel. Applied to paper, these pastels lend to a beautiful smooth and even image surface that nonetheless carries just enough texture to remind the viewer that it is, in fact, an illustration, produced by the artist’s hand. Raymond is wonderfully adept at capturing moments where one’s vision might seem to lie -- strange reflections on the surface of water, or objects seen from just the right angle so as to take on unfamiliar appearances. 

A screen capture of Raymond Noesen's art portfolio

Raymond’s use of colour wonderfully complements his stylistic approach -- the artist’s colour choices often seem just slightly oversaturated, making each of the images feel like the setting is being viewed as a happy memory, not quite as it would be in real life, perhaps better.

A pastel drawing of koi fish under a pond reflecting a structure aboveTraffic Circle, oil and wax pastel on colourfix paper

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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