Peter Brown NEAC

1967
- Present

Peter Brown is an all-weather painter of street scenes and city landscapes. Known for working directly from his subject, he is affectionately known as ‘Pete the Street’.

Peter is often associated with Bath, the city that inspired him to revisit figurative painting after his explorations into abstraction which took him from art school in Manchester in the late eighties up until 1992.  While he has lived and painted for most of his adult life in Bath, his work takes him to countless locations across the UK and around the world.

“I work entirely from life using the cities and the countryside as my subjects. I start with what tickles me, and this is likely to be a certain play of the light, weather, space and everyday life. Most of my drawings and paintings take several sittings over consecutive days and in that time, I may meet police officers, dog walkers, road sweepers, residents and tourists.”

London in is a frequent subject for his artworks. However, discovering new places has become more and more important, and his painting has taken him further afield to India, Vietnam, Havana, New York and across Europe.

Peter is drawn to a crowd. And whilst he doesn’t consider himself to be a portrait artist, he loves to capture people going about their business – from the hustle and bustle of city life to families crowded onto a sunny beach.

The reaction of people to cultural and historical events often catches his imagination and he can be found thick in the action with his easel amongst revellers at Glastonbury Festival or catching the queuing mourners in the days that followed the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

During the pandemic, perhaps through necessity, Peter found a renewed energy in painting interiors – of his home in Bath and elsewhere. During this time, he also captured scenes of empty London streets when the lockdowns and working from home turned the city into something of a ghost town.

Recently, Peter has spent a lot of time painting Bristol, a surprisingly untapped source of inspiration despite its proximity to his hometown. And he was drawn to Glasgow to see Banksy’s Cut & Run exhibition at GoMA which featured a collection of Peter’s original oil paintings of the infamous street artist’s Margate mural ‘Valentine’s Day Mascara’. He fell in love with the city (don’t tell Bath!) and has made many repeat visits to paint the city since.

Peter rarely paints from reference in the studio and never uses photographic reference preferring to work directly from the subject on site in sometimes the foulest of weathers doing what he calls ‘see and put’.

Working mostly in oil, but sometimes charcoal, and very occasionally pastel, he has received numerous awards and is a member of several national art societies, mostly notably the NEAC (New English Art Club) where he has recently completed a five-year term as the society’s President.

Peter paints for one-man shows each year either in London or Bath and has been exhibiting with Messums, London since 2004.  He is currently working on a major exhibition of New York paintings for a debut show in Manhatten with Messums in spring 2025.

He lives in Bath with his wife Lisa and their five children – Ollie, Toby, Hattie, Ella and Ned and also the family’s fruitcake of a dog Moses – All of whom come and go as they please.

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