ARTIST Q&A

Peter Walters

Cornwall, England

Type of artwork you're most likely to produce?

Digitally illustrated bookish prints.

What is your favourite piece of art you have created?

Recently a piece titled ‘Luminescence’ but I also have a fondness for an oil portrait of Sir Edmund Hillary I painted in the foothills of Aoraki in New Zealand.

If you weren't an artist what other career would you be in?

I have my roots in Montessori early years care and if I wasn’t fulfilling my passion as an artist, I would certainly find fulfillment in that role.

If you could buy one piece of artwork what would it be?

While living in Philadelphia I often visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art and would happily hang in my home Van Gogh’s ‘Vase with Twelve Sunflowers’, given the opportunity.

What inspires you?

'A room without books is like a body without a soul’ - Cicero. Books for both their content and aesthetic pleasure are a constant source of inspiration, but quite often it is when walking my dog in the Cornish landscape when my ideas are formulated.

Delving a little deeper

Why do you do what you do?

My creative career for many years was entwined with my work with early childhood education, with both feeding off each other and culminating in the publication of a children’s book I wrote and illustrated. Publication, along with a return to the UK and particularly to Cornwall, marked a concerted focus on my art and I was fortunate to catch the growth and development of online art galleries which has made it possible to meet art lovers from across the globe.

Can you tell us about your artistic background/education

While art was always a natural strength for me at school and something I carried on with into college, I was never exactly the willing student. Through self-driven experimentation I established my style as an oil portrait painter before developing to become a self-taught digital artist.

Do you work in silence or do you prefer a distraction?

Choosing music or the absence of it is an important part of how I work. My studio is surrounded by nature and quite often it is this soundscape that I enjoy most. I do on occasion use music to settle on a mood that supports the creative tone of a piece I’m working on.

How do you choose the subject matter for your works?

Reading has long provided the inspiration for my work, but since the birth of my son and observing his engagement with books and stories, I have found a whole new flow of creativity and ideas.

Has your practice changed over time?

The work I do now has changed significantly compared to the way I was working 15-20 years ago. My formative years painting portraits were spent in America and The Netherlands, before a return to the UK coincided with a transition to digital art. This merging of traditional illustration with digital art has allowed me to hone my current style.

Who are your favourite contemporary or historical artists and why?

During my years of exclusively painting portraits I was always awed by Chuck Close’s photorealist portraits and remembered being locked onto Charles Frederick Goldie’s Maori portraits in Auckland’s Art Gallery.

Since becoming part of online Art Galleries, I have been able to see a lot of wonderfully talented artists and continuingly enjoy print works by Margaret Mallows and Drusilla Cole.

If you could describe your work in less than 5 words, what would they be?

Bookish, playful, surreal, imaginative.

What is the best advice given to you as an artist?

Walk outdoors - It can inspire and rejuvenate.