At the end of 1957 / early 1958 I went down to work in Florida with the Buddy Rich Band, and finally the temptation overtook me, because Florida was very beautiful, especially in those days, and I bought myself some oils and some pastels and went out in the Everglades and started to paint. And that was really the start of it for me.
I began to try to capture that feeling of energy which is in everything.
I try to analyse the light that is coming into my eye, and instead of painting form, to paint the colour and that in turn evokes the atmosphere and the objects take their shape from that.
What I have found more recently is that the more I look, and stay true to what I see, the more the spirit of the place comes into the picture.
I do have this tendency to want to paint when the fresh energy comes in after a storm, or after all the pollution has blown away. . . we would not be here today if fresh energy did not come in all the time to help clear the mess that we have made and are constantly making.
"Look at the contrast of today's skies, so often low grey skies of sullen black-brown clouds, with hazy edges. Consider also vegetation that flowers often before and beyond the natural season. One has to be old enough to really appreciate how the world of energy has changed, mainly to its detriment. But a tour of art galleries featuring Impressionist art can reaffirm that earlier reality, even for those too young to have experienced personally the atmospheric changes wrought since the advent of nuclear pollution. Painting landscapes today, I describe myself as a post-nuclear Impressionist painter, concerned to depict the energy all around but also reflecting the changes in the environment, particularly trees, in this time of pollution."
Excerpt from "The
Environment and Cosmic Metabolism: Looking at the stars and thinking about
Peter had exhibitions in the U.S., in New York and Monterey, when he lived there in the 1950s and 1960s. Various musicians bought his work, including the singers Sheila Jordan and Nina Simone. More recently he has exhibited in Barbados, France and London.
His painting "The Budding Fig" was exhibited by the Pastel Society at the Royal Academy in 1967.