Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Paint Magazine March Issue

A good start to the month, I was really pleased to have my painting 'Into The Promised Land' featured on the cover of the SAA's 'Paint' magazine. Also an interview and several more pictures printed inside. This came about when I sent in the image back in January hoping to have it included in the 'Members Gallery'. Assistant editor Sarah Edghill got in touch and proposed the idea of a feature. So I've been waiting patiently for March to come but unfortunately my edition didn't arrive,lost in the post! Ah well, I've asked for another to be sent. Meanwhile my friend and fellow artist Judith Webb sent me some scans to see. For those who don't get the 'Paint' magazine, here is a transcript of the interview :-

*Where did you get the inspiration for 'Into the Promised Land'?

Well, for this painting I wanted to give an impression of immense space, peace and tranquility. A lot of my ‘Western’ images are like this. Not trying to be historically accurate but attempting to portray palpable and arresting emotions, suspending reality to present the viewer with the wild, unchecked passions and stoic serenity of Native America. Since I began creating this sort of work I’ve received many reference pictures from my internet friends all over the world. This particular one had a group of riders and one of them was just the pose I was looking for. So I used this mainly to make sure I got the proportions and musculature of the subjects correct. Then with a low horizon and big sky to frame them, I dressed the rider and pony to create what I had in mind. I think the effect is quite successful.

* Do you specialise in this sort of subject matter, or is your work quite varied?

I have a very varied portfolio of work including wildlife, portraiture, landscapes, even a bit of fantasy. As a full time artist I need to appeal to as wide a customer base as possible to help make ends meet. But I have painted a lot of work of this genre which has led to quite a bit of success in the USA and Canada. I had thought that it would be an entirely American market for these but have been pleasantly surprised at the amount of people interested locally. Last year I had a solo exhibition in Suffolk for one month. The proprietor of the venue suggested I concentrate on the Western artwork as it would be something different. It turned out to be very successful. I followed with a second month of more traditional work which also went well but not so many sales.
I’m really pleased though to be represented by the Buffalo Trader gallery in Cody, Wyoming who take some of my western artwork, as well as a company in Florida who create and market giclee prints for me. I’m always on the look out for places to showcase more work. Presently in the UK I’m represented by Gala Art in Galashiels as well as some local venues who have sold a bit of everything.

*How long have you been painting?

Seriously for about eight years, although I have always enjoyed creative pursuits since I was a child.

* Where and how did you learn?

I consider myself entirely self taught although I was certainly encouraged at primary school and had my first success in a national competition run by Hornimans Tea aged just eight years old. This gave me confidence and convinced me that I had some level of talent. So I’ve painted (and drunk tea) ever since. I’ve learned a lot from books by artists such as David Bellamy, Hazel Soan and Alwyn Crawshaw. Being in constant contact with other artists via the internet has been invaluable for critiques and advice but most important of all are the hours and hours of practice.

* What are your preferred mediums and why?

I would have to say my first choice is watercolour. I think it gets a bad press sometimes and is considered to be inferior to other mediums such as oils or acrylics. But I think it is the most challenging yet versatile of them all. From semi-abstract backgrounds to wonderful texture effects as well as the beautiful translucent graduated washes or intense detail, with practice the possibilities are endless. Recently I’ve been using the watercolour canvas boards which are difficult to find in the UK but more commonly used in America. These add even more possibilities.

My second choice is pencil, both graphite and coloured pencils. Sometimes I feel the urge to go for as much detail as possible and with the Bristol papers now available photorealistic work can easily be achieved. Not every ones cup of tea but extremely satisfying to create.

* Are you an amateur or professional artist?

I’ve been professional since 2002. Working part-time to begin with until in 2005 my partner Jenny and I decided to sell up, down size, leave the rat-race and move out here to this wonderful area of Suffolk. She works as a supply teacher now and I work full time on my art.

* How and when do you work best?

On a painting day I work entirely at home, so I have all of my materials etc. to hand in my studio space at the back of the house. I need music to help me concentrate and work from about 9:30 until 2. I then go out with the dog, usually to the beach for about an hour and a half which enables me to refresh my mind. When I return I carry on for perhaps another 2 hours or so.

* How long have you been a member of the SAA and what do you see as the main benefits?

I joined in 2003. Here in Suffolk where I live I’m a long way from any decent art materials store, so I think the online shop is great and buy most of my materials there. In particular the SAA own brand watercolours which I really like and use almost exclusively. Paint magazine is also something I look forward to receiving. It’s handy to see how other artists are working and there are always things to learn in it.

1 comment:

jeannie said...

fantastic coverage peter - well done.:) I don't get Paint any more (sadly one of the cutbacks)so thanks for showing it here or i wouldn't have been able to read it. Its been really interesting.