Maker : Peter Batchelder
36" x 36" canvas
38" x 38" framed
oil on canvas
Living in coastal New England, particularly on the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard, you become well acquainted with yearly changes to the shoreline, and the distance land is from sea. Storms, waves, rain and time all descend on the fragile edges of land, where they turn to beach. The result is, more often than not…erosion and/or shifting dunes. You don’t notice it as much in areas where there is nothing built…but in those areas where seaside homes have resided for years, the structure shows just how much, or little, land has been lost since the previous year. This location is on Cape Cod Bay, and while on the “protected” side of the Cape (the side not facing the Atlantic), some of the most significant sand drifts and dune erosion occurs.
After establishing himself as a successful graphic designer, Peter began pursuing his fine art career in 1992 on Martha's Vineyard, where he resided year-round for three years. Upon returning to the mainland he co-founded, as Creative Director, a web design and software company based in Bedford, NH. In recent years he has achieved success as an artist with his representation at prestigious galleries in the Boston area, Provincetown and the Monadnock, NH region.
Peter trained in studio art at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (BFA 1987) under artists Jack Coughlin, Lionel Gongora, John Grillo, and Hanlon Davies as well as Robert Cardinal at the Truro Center for the Arts.
"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 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." - Peter Batchelder