I was born in Liverpool and from a very early age I was encouraged to draw. Up until the age of 9 or 10, when my little brother was old enough to chase me around, I remember spending time on my own just copying comics or inventing strange machines. Without realising it I was teaching myself how to ‘look’ — a fundamental requirement in order to be able to draw what we see accurately. Most people who consider themselves unable to draw, really just don’t know how to look.
At school I was very lucky to have a great art teacher who saw art and creativity in everything, and encouraged an approach of questioning and thinking for oneself, and to look for the elegance and beauty in things. I loved physics and chemistry too and developments in the sciences continues to fascinate me. I moved to London to study Fine Art and my final show reflected my intrigue in the modern understanding science had come to have of reality. The work I did back then was very contrived; nowadays the affect this knowledge has on me is more subtly effecting of my work.
Decision trees – same difference
After college, I put painting on hold and pursued a career in computer programming. Not as massive a departure from the realms of art as you may think. Both have the objective of representing something of the real world, and both require creativity in successfully achieving that aim. Just as in painting, there are some programming solutions that are beautiful, coherent and elegantly styled, and there are those that are ugly and badly constructed. The creative process is similar — you have an idea for a painting but you don’t start in the top left and finish in the bottom right like some dot matrix printer. The painting and the direction it takes emerges, and you, as an artist, consider the options and possibilities open to you and try to find an elegant solution.
Retreat to the country
After long and rewarding careers in London, in 1999 we moved to our beautiful home in Devon. We felt ready for a change to our lifestyle, in order to enjoy our young children more. I was still programming as a contractor and then finally as part of a small team trying to develop our own product. The venture, though good fun, didn’t work out and so, in 2003 we decided to open Brambles Art Retreat – and I finally got back to my painting roots!
As an artist
I like to work from nature, using observation as a starting point. My inspiration is the potential; my enjoyment is the emergent.
Click on the link to see a selection of Peters current artwork.