Artsy Shark is pleased to present Featured Artist Peter Worsley. Eighty-plus years young, he paints vibrant canvases of people, places and moments, which are appealing and timeless. Visit his website for more information and his full portfolio. Peter shares his bio and discusses his work . . .
Born in England, I came to California in 1956, and to Santa Barbara in 1970. My serious work in the visual arts began in 1996, after retiring from some fifty years in industry. Though largely self-taught, I have been mentored by some of the world-class artists who live locally.
After initially choosing to work in watercolor, I gradually introduced opaque gouache into my work, producing many gouache paintings over several years. From this I have evolved to where today I produce representational, colorful, figurative paintings, using oil on canvas.
Active in the local art community, I have been a Past President of both the Santa Barbara and Goleta Valley Art Association, a member of the Santa Barbara Studio Artists, and a Founder and Director of Santa Barbara Visual Arts Alliance.
What are your artistic goals?
I see myself as kind of an old soul and a romantic at heart. Today, I paint mostly for my own satisfaction. The subjects I choose have some sort of nostalgic calling – ordinary people doing everyday things at interesting places. Often the result is a moving painting reflecting the human comedy.
I treat each painting as a scene on a stage. The people are the actors. I position them to capture an easy to understand, usually happy, often emotional event. The interpretation of the scene through brushwork and a creative but limited palette, results in strongly edited realistic images of the world, reflecting life’s interactions.
Each painting begins with a careful study of its composition. Then, through an evolutionary process, often with moments of spontaneity, the painting emerges from the canvas.
Coming from many years in high tech marketing, I spend about a third of my time spreading the word about my artwork, though studio visits, occasional exhibits, my email list, my website, various online galleries, and many social media connections. Linkedin art-related group discussions I find particularly helpful, since they involve many important people in the Visual Art world, and frequently result in useful connections.
What are you working on now?
For some time I have been developing representational, colorful, figurative paintings. Also, I often provide some words of the background story, but then encourage the viewer to produce their own ideas. These paintings are easy to understand and have a wide appeal to those art collectors who enjoy paintings that are realistic and reflecting the social events that they know.
I work from the thousands of digital photographs that I take while traveling. Usually I integrate multiple images into a specific painting, essentially creating a story from the events that have gone on around me.
What inspires you?
Always I have had a strong desire to include people in my paintings. People add life. Through the years I have been influenced by the work of the American and European Impressionists, and more recently by Hopper, Biberman, Ginsburg, Arsenault, and Andrew Wyeth, each with their compelling sense of mood, time, and place that describe moments of shared human experience.
But most of my inspiration comes from the people! They are a never-ending reservoir of ideas. I like to capture everyday events as I see the world go by. The emotions in people’s faces plus their body language give endless opportunities to build simple stories to which most people may relate.