Kenyan born, Peter Blackwell has been intrigued by Africa's environments and its exceptional diversity all his life. Raised on a remote farm in Northern Kenya, the African bush was Peter's outdoor arena for entertainment and learning. Formally educated in England, where he received a degree in Graphic Design, Peter was keen to return to his roots to pursue a career not related to the advertising world, but to focus on the bush and continue on a lifetime interest, that of wildlife painting.
Virtually self taught in the area of fine art, Peter built up a reputation as a watercolour artist specialising in birds, gaining acclaim for his ability to bring to life his feathered subjects, with incredible character interpretations, distinctive detail to bold and iridescent colours and the fine intricate work of precise feathering. Gradually Peter included animals and landscapes as well as oils and acrylics into his portfolio, all with the same great care and individuality as his bird pieces. Today he centres his attention on all the aspects of the African landscape. His originals range from pieces only a few inches in dimensions to several feet, in mixed mediums.
Peter spends many weeks of the year in the bush, where he not only obtains the reference material necessary to create his works, but also to study his subjects. His painting style, though realistic, also suggests an unconventional flavour as he constantly strives to create original works that are anatomically accurate, yet at the same time are fresh and innovative.
Shadows and golden light, so much a part of the African make-up is of particular interest to him, and play key roles in his work. Also a professional photographer, Peter finds his photographs help not only in referencing the colours and subjects, but a photographer's eye helps in the overall aesthetics of a painting's layout and appeal.
Peter has been painting professionally for over twenty-five years. He has completed countless commissions and held over forty-five successful solo shows since 1987 in Nairobi, London and across America. His work has been reproduced in limited edition prints, giclees and stationery, and has been used by several conservation groups for fund-raising events. His paintings held in private and corporate collections can be found in America, Australia, China, Europe, India, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Zambia.
Each of Peter's works is an attempt to capture even a brief glimpse of the many beauties found in the world’s natural habitats. It is his hope that each piece may strike a chord with viewers, allowing them to step into another world.