Sky, open landscape, history, and stories of Alberta interest Dean Tatam Reeves. The artist roams the backroads, foothills, coulees, and prairies to paint from vantage points to evoke his sense of freedom.
Dean Tatam Reeves concentrates on painting the landscape of southeast Alberta, mainly in the Cypress Hills and Milk River regions. It is an area rich in grassland imagery and cultural heritage, with its historic ranches, sweeping panoramas and sheltered river environments.
His work is produced on location, year-round, where the artist can directly observe and record unique landscape views and the effects of ever-changing qualities of light on the subject. Dean uses soft pastel as a medium, as he enjoys a direct approach and the vibrant colour, especially when applied to paper prepared with a tinted, sanded surface. With this medium he seeks to combine drawing and painting to effectively express a specific sense of place, light, atmosphere and movement in the landscape.
"Surely the hand - whether we call it God's or Nature's - that mixes the colors for an Alberta sunset and throws them on the western sky is a master of its art." (Sarah Ellen Roberts. "Call of a Free Land." Chinook Arch. A Centennial Anthology of Alberta Writing. Edmonton: Co-Op Press, 1967:27).
Dean studied at the University of Alberta, the Banff Centre and the Medicine Hat College. He has exhibited his work since the early 1970s. Dean has been a curator and arts administrator in Edmonton, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge for a good number of years as well as maintaining a full-time art practice.