Maker : Peter Batchelder
20" x 16" canvas
22" x 18" framed
oil on canvas
The beaches on the Bay side of Dennis (Cape Cod, MA) are known for their sandbars and low tides, which can be in place close to a quarter mile from dry sand to the low tide water line. As the tide recedes, shallow areas in the sandbar are the last to drain, and as the surrounding exposed sand dries, small streams drain away from the beach, and catch the skylight, creating beautiful abstract shapes. This location, at Corporation Beach in East Dennis, not only creates low tide streams, but has in places fresh water springs below the sand, which are marked by small circles of bubbling sand, creating a continues stream, long after the sea has fully receded.
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