ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Artist Tim Rees just completed a mission to put the mining town of Miami, Ariz., on the map – or at least on canvas.
Rees moved back to Arizona from Chicago in 2012 and purchased a century-old home in the tiny town, which is adjacent to Globe. He took a look around. After years of painting realist figures, still lifes and landscapes, he became enchanted by the town’s ramshackle aesthetic and brightly colored, boxy buildings.
“I started seeing these old buildings with chipped paint and wood falling off and everything rusted over,” says Rees, who finished a series of paintings portraying Miami’s old houses in July. “It’s sort of visual candy to see all these different textures and colors and surfaces. I was compelled to paint them.”
As a child, Rees was most fond of drawing dinosaurs. He attended Dobson High School and then Collins College in Phoenix to study animation, but dropped out and decided to pursue a career in medicine. He completed most of his pre-med classes, then changed course after picking up a magazine about modern-day master painters. “I thought the world would benefit more from another great artist than another great doctor,” the 29-year-old says. He left for Chicago to participate in open studios and later worked at the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Art. He currently teaches drawing and painting at the Scottsdale Artists’ School.
“I am a naturalist,” says Rees, whose work is available at timreesfineart.com. “I paint what is in front of me without much exaggeration. My work is an honest interpretation of what I see.”