Gazing at Peter’s artworks has the nostalgia of walking around Paris in a late afternoon, the casual refinement of people lounging in an illustrative style, reminiscent of Toulouse Lautrec’s posters of the Moulin Rouge, somehow lingering in the background. The slick lines sketching the outline of the naked female form, or capturing the ambience of a room in the late afternoon, the view of the ocean through an open window, a girl in a yellow dress by moonlight and a cat watching a girl sit alone. The post impressionist style lingers in these colourful prints, in rust orange, cobalt blue, bright turquoise the simple shapes conveying the fluidity of movement and shape, drawn with simple curves and lines. It’s life drawing in a moment, sketching the alive and spontaneous, capturing the overlooked and unseen on an average day. This is what is so captivating in Peter’s illustrative artworks; it unfolds a narrative open to interpretation, allowing us to take us where we want to go when looking at his work.
Peter is an illustrator and a painter, you see his life drawing technique shine through, however he has encapsulated the story in the artwork with these swift movements of an artists pen, as if it were a sketch, added to this, his play on colour. What is even more extraordinary, these artworks are masterfully painted on his iPad, he is adept at using the tools available, the use of colour and the editing process, drawing with the pen and even his finger on the iPad. Playing with different edits on the computer, creating artworks to be as natural as possible. This high resolution illustration, is then masterfully developed. The second stage, his relationship with the printer! Knowing what lends itself to large format. He was always fascinated with drawing, loves the early Italians as well as Matisse and Cézanne. Peter has also explored music through songwriting and teaches creativity at the London Business School.
He went to boarding school and having experienced dyslexia found solace in the art department. He achieved A levels in Medieval History, Art and History of Art and then attended a foundation course at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts. He went on to attend the famous Slade School of Fine Art at London University. After graduating he visited a friend in America and toured on Greyhound buses. Returning to the United Kingdom he was accepted by the Royal Academy of Arts for a post graduate. After his studies at the Royal Academy, he started teaching in a sixth form college which resulted in him and his wife Liz setting up the Royal Academy of Arts Outreach Programme for schools, influential creative life drawing workshops that resulted in three exhibitions of children’s drawings in the prestigious galleries of the RA. His art work continued but without exhibiting as he was committed to teaching in school and businesses. It has come as a welcome surprise to be selling prints of his art and enjoying an enthusiastic audience later in life. It was his brother Jonathan who saw the potential and introduced him to the art dealer Nic McElhatton who is now his Gallery owner. This resulted in selling limited edition prints at the Affordable At Fair Battersea and Hampstead. People are beginning to recognise his works, and it’s exciting, next is Miami, and a charity event as he makes his mark on the American market.
Peter and his family left the United Kingdom and moved to France 15 years ago, purchasing a house with plenty of space for his young family as well as their seven cats. He travels to London and other countries where he holds seminars and creativity workshops for The London Business School. His recent artworks are influenced by his move to the continent, creating pictures such as Tasting Olives, which was inspired by watching people tasting in the market place in Aix en Provence. The influence of his life in France combined with being an English native, is what gives his work so much appeal, it’s about observation from two perspectives. The sensuousness of the south and the intensity of light, colour and expression, combined with a northern, cooler regard for qualities of traditional drawing and an economy of means, this combination is at the heart of his work.
His ideas also stem from his teaching in businesses which focus on different ways of thinking. Peter explains “Innovation is crucial too many organisations, businesses are always looking for new opportunities and realise that ambiguity, uncertainty and change are all key aspects of the modern business context. However ambiguity and uncertainty don’t always sit comfortably in the business mind so having the opportunity to experience these concepts through drawing themselves can be very powerful and useful.” Then Peter tells me something fascinating, that it’s the ambiguity and uncertainty that is an artist, the not knowing where you are going, these are the things that are like breath for an artist. Then he quotes TS Elliott “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
Thank you to Nic McElhatton, Gallery owner, Jonathan Feroze, business associate and Jill Mosovich, U. S Agent
Interview: Antoinette Hasehorst