|Run, Foxy, run . . .
How Peter began painting rural scenes is simple, even if it sounds daft.
By : Deborah Susan Jones : Editor
Peter had just literally moved into his new studio in the heart of the English countryside. He had plans for his new publishing business which he'd set up but had yet to launch. The very week he was considering which of his fantasy works he would publish, a "traveling gallery" came to town and set up shop for a weekend, three hundred yards from the new studio.
It was called "Starving Artists".
Peter can best explain what happened next . . . . . . .
"Intrigued (obviously) I went in for a look-see. There was a large mish-mash of uninspiring Art, some of it cheap Chinese imports, and at least one copy of a well known work by a well known North American wildlife Artist.
It soon became apparent, in conversation, that the person running it was very, very keen and interested in Art and running this part-time venture, but was starved of decent work from reliable sources.
Call it a moment of madness, kindness, commercial affront, curiosity, whatever, I don't know, but I said "I'll be back in ten minutes" and after a quick search through packing crates back at our house, unearthed a wildlife painting I had done back in 1973, a piece I went to my very first publisher presentation with (and came back with a fantasy job to do instead, which is how the whole Science Fiction thing just happened, out of the blue) and presented it to this chap and said "would that solve your supply issue?"
Simple story made simpler still, I painted three small pictures, took them to show him, and he bought them right off, sold all three, and later told me one of them, a Fox painting similar to this one, "went in half an hour".
I thought - "hmmmnnnn . . . . . . . . . . "
I'd shut up shop on our global rights agency The Solar Wind Picture Library, moved from London to "an area of outstanding natural beauty", set up the new studio, planned the Science Fiction Publishing platform and then, for whatever reason, the first things I go and paint have nothing whatsoever to do with that!
Then I had thought number two - "hmmmmnnnnnnnnnnn . . . . . . . . . ."
I did a few more for this Gallery. The Gallery turned into a fixed Gallery in the High Street, not just mobile. Then it developed a network of clients. Then it sold some of my Aviation Art.
Then I had thought number three - "hmmmmnnnnnnnnnnn . . . . . . . . . ."
I realised that fame as a Science Fiction Artist (that I had never either sought or gloated on) had, for all it's benefits (that I have zero grumbles about) nevertheless limited my creativity. That had to change.
When I first came to the town, seeking an idyllic studio spot, I'd gone for a Sunday morning walk and as I turned off the main road down a dirt track towards an ill kempt and interesting looking field, a shadow cast over me, and as I looked up, an enormous grey bird (and I had then no idea what that might be) flew low over me and stopped bolt upright, deadly still, near a shallow pool.
I now know it was a Heron but back then I was an ignorant townie with no idea what it might be, but golly, did it look impressive!
Then I had thought number four - "hmmmmnnnnnnnnnnn . . . . . . . . . . no creative limits" (and this publishing company is my response).
The week after I'd painted that first small Fox picture I painted a far bigger one to see if I could and this painting here is it.
I hope it brings you as much pleasure to view it as it did for me to paint it."
Deborah Susan Jones : Editor