Peter Barrett is showing a large body of work at The Garages, Millhayes, Hemyock, at the end of May. Internationally known as a wildlife artist, he has lived in the Hemyock area since 1974.
Peter began his career working as a graphic designer in London, Canada and Athens.
While living in Greece, he was able to turn his attention to painting. He had four one-man exhibitions of his abstract oil paintings at the Drian Galleries, London. In the 1970s, he began painting detailed and accurate watercolours of wildlife, recording what he saw in the landscape around him. This work was brought to the attention of Artist Partners, London, who became his agent for commissions from publishers.
Peter has illustrated over 40 books on wildlife as well as children’s books. His work has been exhibited in one-man shows at many galleries, including Illustrators Gallery, London, twice; Exe Gallery, Exeter; Otterton Mill, Devon, twice; Chris Beetles Gallery, Ryder Street, London (group as well as one-man exhibitions); British Council Gallery, Athens, Ioannina, Greece; Papingo, Zagori, Greece. His work has appeared in many mixed shows in London, Greece and USA.
Throughout his life, Peter has always found time between commissions to sketch and paint his own subjects. He is a versatile and productive artist, able to work in a variety of media – watercolours, oils, pastels, and etchings. The present exhibition, his second at The Garages, Millhayes, Hemyock, comprises a large body of work in a variety of media, a record of favourite sights and scenes witnessed in different places at different times over his lifetime.
Many of the paintings on show and for sale were inspired by his recent explorations of the Somerset Coast.
Peter writes: "Until recently my searches for wildlife subjects in the West Country were confined to the woods, rivers, moors and coasts of Devon and Cornwall. Then, in the late winter of 2015, I joined a boat trip arranged by Nigel Phillips on behalf of the Somerset Wildlife Trust, heading down the River Brue from Highbridge, Somerset. I found myself in an environment reminiscent of the Camargue or the Norfolk Broads. I was immediately enthralled by the scenery. This trip led to many more expeditions along the length of the Somerset Coast, from Glenthorne on the county's western boundary with Devon to the limestone outcrop of Bream Down to the east. Beyond the busy caravan sites and amusement parks, a short walk along the cliffs or beaches reveals surprising aspects of land and seascape, with a fascinating variety of flora, fauna and geological formation. I hope to have captured something of the Somerset coast's unusual beauty in my paintings."
Peter Barrett, May 27 th – 31 st at The Garages, Millhayes, Hemyock, Devon.