Today we’d like to introduce you to Peter Walsh.
Peter, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up surrounded by art – both my paternal grandfather and my mother were artists. I was constantly doodling on test papers, desks, and notebooks, and when I was in middle school I started tagging along when my mother went to her drawing classes. It was during one of these classes, drawing a live model that I first knew I was interested in making art for myself. My drawings became more focused and controlled, and I continued to work with charcoal and oil pastels when I was in the U.S. Air Force, and later during college as a political science major. After college, I taught myself to paint, and friends started asking me to make pieces for them. I had briefly considered going to law school, but the more time I spent on my art the more I knew I was never going to become a lawyer. My parents weren’t thrilled with my decision, but they were supportive, especially when I was accepted by a Chicago gallery for a group show – they actually flew in for the opening as a surprise. It was the first time my work had ever been shown – and all three paintings sold. From then on, I’ve been pushing myself to make art that I love.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I consider myself lucky that I didn’t major in art. I haven’t had anyone ever say to me, “You can’t do that.” I have always created for myself. I love color, layering color, mixing paint on canvas, and then sanding, scraping, and scratching it to find new colors, depths, and figures. When I get comfortable with a painting is when I attack it with sand paper or a paint scraper to find what I consider to be the real painting. My goal is to make viewers look at my paintings closely, to the point where they want to touch them. I am creating visual environments for people to lose themselves in.
Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
Artists have always been the first to comment or criticize people in power and make social commentary. Think of history and the great paintings that have been created by artists’ reaction to their times – Picasso’s “Guernica,” Goya’s “The 3rd of May 1808,” Basquiat’s “Profit 1,” Warhol’s “Soup Cans,” and so much of Banksy’s work. In my work, I’ve explored religious themes and the role of porn, celebrity, and comic books on our culture.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Probably the best way people can follow my pieces in progress and to completion is on social media (Instagram and Facebook). My painting and mixed media work is all shown on my website, www.artbypeterwalsh.com. Work can also be seen at the Leigh Gallery in Chicago. I was recently selected to participate in the Bridgeport Art Center’s 6th Annual Juried Art Competition, opening March 16. I’ve been working on a commission basis for about seven years, and I really enjoy working with clients to create something meaningful for them that works for their space.
- Website: www.artbypeterwalsh.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @peterwalshart
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Art-by-Peter-Walsh-1442230222572661/