Throughout my life I have had the benefit of living in different rural environments within New England. From the coastal landscapes of Massachusetts to the woods, mountains and farmlands of New Hampshire and Vermont I have experienced the differences in nature, geography and light in these varied environments. Childhood interests in architecture and archaeology have led me to consider the context of time-worn structures within the New England landscapes. I am fascinated on many levels when coming across a barn or seaside cottage. From an artist’s perspective I am interested in the nature of the architecture, how it sits within its landscape, color and light.
I’m curious about the story of a building–who built it and why; the many people who have lived or worked in the building; how the landscape may have changed around the structure over the course of years. This interest in the story behind a place finds its way into my work. In some of my work I feel that the outcome is that the architecture serves as the sentry for the landscape and in other cases the exact opposite. While working on a piece, I’ll take out things that were there, and add things that weren’t. My hope is that a viewer will connect with an image and create their own story. When I begin a painting, usually working out the composition in charcoal, I simplify everything…the landscape, the structure…and work the composition out as a whole, always looking to introduce some element of abstraction into the work.
The subjects of Peter’s paintings are inspired by memories of places discovered during a lifetime living in, and exploring, rural New England. Having spent many summers on Cape Cod, and an equal amount of time on more inland locations, his inspiration is often found during walks on the beach, and in the weathered, rustic architecture that characterize rural and coastal regions. He is particularly drawn to the seemingly ageless quality of barns and old New England architecture. Much of his art is about editing out the clutter that grows and collects over time around these structures, as it is about painting the scene itself. As a colorist, Peter’s work captures real and imagined color palletes, and often colorin itself is the subject.
Having trained in studio art under Massachusetts artists Jack Coughlin, Lionel Gongora, Hanlon Davies, and William Patterson at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Peter’s primary influences include the work of Edward Hopper, Wolf Kahn, Fairfield Porter, Andrew and James Wyeth, Bo Bartlett, David Hockney and Richard Diebenkorn.
Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, on Boston’s North Shore, he has lived on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and in New Hampshire, Vermont and western Massachusetts. He currently lives in Amherst, New Hampshire, with his wife, Kim, and children, Owen and Lily.