Peter’s biography

I started painting after a career as an academic, teaching and researching in Modern Literature and Culture.

I had always had this option in mind, although my previous experience had gone no further than doing ‘A’ level Art. I began experimenting with small works in watercolour, acrylic and egg tempera (in tubes), painting in the only serviceable space of an attic in the house we moved to in Ringmer, Lewes after life in South London and Northampton. In time, we were able to rent and then acquire a Workshop behind our house. This is where both Liz and I now work and where we have staged two Art Wave exhibitions, in 2016 and 2017. These events have been thoroughly enjoyable and have included works by another Ringmer artist, Ann Divall, and a potter, Rosemary Land.

Among those artists who inspire me and who I have long admired, are the American painters of the 1920s, Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth, who were alive to the new, modern urban and industrial landscapes of their time. They were termed ‘Precisionists’, which well describes their method. An accuracy of line and detail is something I aim to achieve. Of present day painters I admire the wonderful work of Diarmuid Kelley, Gill Levin, Jock McFadyen and the French artist, Yvan Salomone.

The net result in my own work is that I am drawn to objects and structures, large and small, public, domestic and personal. I am working currently, if intermittently, on two series; one of bridges, piers, factories and wharves along the Thames (I have in mind Ewan MacColl’s ‘Sweet Thames flow softly’ ) and a set of smaller paintings of ordinary, everyday,  ‘things’ which pass unnoticed until we look again. What I also particularly like to show is the process of change by which ‘things’, natural or man-made, fall into disuse or survive alongside the new. This conjunction of the old and the new is, after all, constant.