Peter Batchelder | Contemporary Fine Artist
Born in Beverly, MA on Boston’s North Shore, Peter has spent time living throughout New England in both coastal and western Massachusetts, Martha’s Vineyard, Vermont and, currently, New Hampshire.Peter trained in studio art at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (BFA 1987) under artists Jack Coughlin, Lionel Gongora, John Grillo, and Hanlon Davies.
Having established himself as a successful Creative Director and designer, Peter continued pushing his studio work and opened a small gallery in Vineyard Haven, on Martha’s Vineyard, where he lived year-round for three years, in the early 90’s. Upon returning to the mainland he co-founded, as Creative Director, a web design and software company based in New Hampshire, while maintaining his studio work. His work is represented by prestigious galleries in the Boston area, Vermont, Cape Cod, New Hampshire and Hilton Head Island, SC. Peter also annually donates work for the benefit of local non profits, including Boston’s WGBH public television and Fenway Health.
Throughout my life I have had the benefit of living in different rural environments within New England. From the coastal landscapes of Massachusetts to the woods, mountains and farmlands of New Hampshire and Vermont I have experienced the differences in nature, geography and light in these varied environments. Childhood interests in architecture and archaeology have led me to consider the context of time-worn structures within the New England landscapes. I am fascinated on many levels when coming across a barn or seaside cottage. From an artist’s perspective I am interested in the nature of the architecture, how it sits within its landscape, color and light.From a personal perspective, I find myself often curious about the story of the building: who built it and why; the many people who have lived or worked in the building; how the landscape may have changed around the structure over the course of years. I find that the curiosity I have about the building intertwines with the creative process in my interpretation of the architecture and landscape in one image. In some of my work I feel that the outcome is that the architecture serves as the sentry for the landscape and in other cases the exact opposite. Because I remove extraneous details from both the landscape and architecture I paint, it is my hope that a viewer will be challenged by the image to let their own curiosity create a story – is the beach cottage long abandoned or just waiting for its inhabitants to return?I have long been influenced by the works of Andrew and Jamie Wyeth, Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer and Robert Cardinal and their use of light and color to define subject and mood. I typically begin a piece with multiple sketches in either graphite or charcoal to work out the composition. Then I transition to small watercolor or oil studies to allow for experimentation with different color fields and use of light before committing to canvas. I use many layers of paint in my work to allow me to pull the undercolor to the surface and create depth and movement to highlight form and the way light defines a subject.