How Peter began painting rural scenes is simple, even surprising.
By : Deborah Susan Jones : Editor
Not long after Peter had moved into his new studio in the heart of the English countryside the inevitable urge to explore took hold, and this scene was triggered by a visit to Ludlow, crossing the river Teme, and exploring the wood on the opposite bank of the river.
The signs of Badgers, and what they'd been up to, were prevelant. . . . . . . .
It had been snowing, and there were many fallen tree branches and the entire scene was quite "Christmassy" and demanded a creative response.
It presented itself as a near-monochrome scene and the snow was a very feathery texture, and I had to tip toe around to avoid disrupting the pattern of the snow.
"I instantly had a view of the Badgers, and the surrounding scene, harmonious in colour and tone with the slight hint of colour in the undergrowth which, for reasons I still don't understand, were an unusual Indian Red colour (a color from an artist's palette) and it flew in the face of my usual technique, of putting a dash of local colour in the foreground, often on the lead character in the scene, but in this case, just used to emphasize this unusual undergrowth appearance, and relying on the striking two-tone black and white nature of the Badger's appearance to compensate for the decision to put the dash of subdued colour in the background only.
"A very early piece in my "Rural" portfolio, I'd certainly never imagined I'd be prowling around a wood, in the freezing cold, picking my way through delicate snowfalls and stumbling over fallen tree branches and getting my feet caught in dead branches in the undergrowth, all cracking and snapping as I tramped through the scene towards the big fallen log.
So, there you go, a bit of a transition from jumping on aeroplanes to Hollywood to crash through a film poster in ten days to meet a deadline at the Cannes Film Festival, to scrambling around the English countryside in mid-winter!
"Who'd have thought it?
"Not me, for sure".
Deborah Susan Jones : Editor