Peter Barker was born in 1954 in Banbury, Oxfordshire, the son of a well known musical family on both his mother's and father's side. Much of his childhood was spent in the surrounding countryside, where his inherent love of nature was instilled through bird-watching, fishing and breeding butterflies and moths. It was also apparent, in those early years, that Peter had an innate ability to draw and paint all he observed. He won a national painting competition by Ford in 1969 with a watercolour of a rally car in full flow. However, at the age of 14 he started playing golf and four years later he turned professional to pursue a dream of becoming the greatest golfer the world had ever known! The dream did not quite come to fruition over the ensuing twelve years, although did include some notable tournament successes. His dormant artistic talent finally blossomed into an inevitable vocation in 1983 when he quit professional golf and embarked on a new career as a full-time artist. Although self-taught, he did receive much early encouragement from renowned artist Caesar Smith and eventually his work was accepted by a local gallery and sales were soon forthcoming. Peter's passion for the British countryside is reflected in his work which conveys and acute sense of observation and knowledge. Often he returns to the same wood, stretch of river, or coastline, portraying it in different weather, season and time of day. In 1994 he was approached by Anglia Television and a short film was made showing him sketching by one of his favourite rivers and painting in the studio. He has not settled into any one niche of painting: rather he finds painting such a wide variety of subjects, from landscape, marine, wildlife, still-life and portraits, both on a large scale and small, in either oils, pastel, acrylic or watercolour, keeps his work fresh and his desire to paint unceasing, limited only by the number of hours in a day. He paints both in the field "en plein air" and in the studio at home in Rutland. Peter adores the craft of painting and feels truly blessed to be able to pursue his passion and earn a living from it. He studies great painters through their books and their exhibitions and among contemporary artists he greatly admires and who have influenced his own work, are David Curtis, Trevor Chamberlain, Ken Howard RA, and Richard Schmid. On returning to Cornwall after a very long gap, he fell in love with this enchanting part of Britain and a whole new body of work is being produced



PETER BARKER