Peter Woof SGFA

About Peter

 He began his art education at Wigan art school in 1972 at the age of sixteen and it was there that his interest in art began . His first taste of exhibiting came three years later at the Bootle open art exhibition in Liverpool were he won three prizes, which was a real encouragement to him. Later that year he travelled to London to start at the City & Guilds of London art school.

There he was taught by Sir Roger de Grey and met artists like Anthony Green and Elizabeth Frink. For a young lad coming down from Wigan he found it exciting and daunting at the same time. He was surrounded by talented students some of whom had already worked for professional artists so he had to sink or swim.

Following that he was awarded a place at the Royal Academy schools on a three year postgraduate course. There he discovered his love of drawing. All new students to the schools used to be taken on as probationers for the first term, and if after that time your work was judged good enough you would be taken on as a full student. The whole of the first term was spent drawing in the Life room, drawing every day for three months. He tried every medium possible during that term, but by the end he had certainly learnt to draw and paint. The Royal Academy was a great experience for him, he was working in the heart of London amongst all the west end galleries, and as a student he was able to see any of the exhibitions on upstairs in the R.A. main galleries. The Premiums is the annual competitive show for the students, and  he won the prize for the best Non Figurative work in his last year.

 During his time at college he worked mainly in oils and acrylics. As he studied, he went to the Tate gallery weekly and trailed around endless galleries. His work which started out figuratively enough ended up as large abstract paintings.After leaving college he exhibited at the Royal Academy each year, in galleries around the country and as far as Paris.

When his children were born he worried about the fumes from the paint as  his studio was in the house, so he started to look for a safer medium. First he tried watercolour but didn’t really get on very successfully, so he decided to try drawing and discovered Karisma coloured pencils. These were a revelation to him as he had never come across such soft and powerful pencils before. He was amazed at the strength of the colours and started to explore the possibilities of this new medium. This was about 1989, and at first he started sketching outside in the park and around the local area, but he grew dissatisfied with that. He wanted to push it much further and produce something much more finished. So his work moved back into the studio and this led to the start of his still life pictures. He has produced work in many different subject areas but it is still life that he feels is the most successful. He likes having total control from creating the subject right through to producing the finished picture, and knowing that the picture is totally unique as he has created both the subject and the picture.

 His first solo exhibition of drawings was in 1991 at the local theatre in Leamington Spa and the following year he had another show at the towns art gallery. Since then he has shown all over the country. He has also exhibited with the Pastel Society at the Mall galleries  every year since 1995. He became a member of the UK coloured pencil society in 2006. 

             Several years ago he had a large group of pictures purchased for a large American corporate collection, and he also contributed to books on drawing. More recently he became a member of the Society of Graphic Fine Artists and had his drawings used on boxes of Derwent coloured pencils, which he switched to when Karisma pencils became harder to find. 

 Since 2007 Peter had focused on paintings more than his coloured pencil work and had work displayed at the Royal Academy summer show, the New England Art Club annual open exhibition and various other galleries.

           In the Autumn of 2011, Peter sadly passed away at his home in Leamington Spa.

His obituary can be found at:  http://www.warwickcourier.co.uk/news/gentle-peter-inspired-many-to-follow-him-1-3177365 

Concepts

Peter's coloured pencil work is distinctly in the realist tradition, although he retained an interest in abstract art gained during his student years,   particularly the work of the American and St Ives schools. This way of thinking still informed his later work as he 'wanted the picture as a whole to have an abstract strength and presence' whilst also being particular in detail.

Influences

One of the main influences on his work was  Japanese art, including Hiroshige and Hokusai amongst many other great artists. He was inspired by their use of flat space, pattern and above all their sense of design, as he saw painting 'as much about design as the actual techniques'.