Peter Smales


“My art is fixed firmly in the visual world and paint is the medium I have chosen to express myself. Taking Paul Cezanne’s dictum that ‘art is a return to nature, but not to be taken at face value’. Changing light, of beguiling subtlety, falling on objects provides endless and inexhaustible motifs. In the end a painting is paint, not reality. I like paint and I want the end-product to look something like the subject and something like paint. That’s the hook – an art for art’s sake aesthetic.” Peter Smales
“The world is full of beautiful things, often in the most unexpected places”

Perhaps Australia’s only contemporary “true Impressionist”. His painterly world is a highly evolved traditional representational one where the picture’s subject is nature as reality; but pared down to its energetic and colourful essentials.

Peter’s paintings appear deceptively effortless and unlabored, belying a masterful ability to translate visual impressions in an expressionistic manner that can manifest only through diligent and disciplined practice, relying on the elegant simplification and spontaneity of his colourful brushwork and descriptive eye.

Peter Says, “Painting is all about light; the joy of seeing and how to harmonize the subject with pictorial and decorative qualities. It is a continuing process, not so much an assortment of “things” captured; but attempts to re-visit and make more eloquent artistic statements.

Born in London in 1958, Peter Smales began painting in his early teens, and winning prizes, and has been a fulltime professional artist since 1987.

Perhaps Australia’s only contemporary true Impressionist, his painterly world is a highly evolved traditional representational one – where the picture’s subject is nature as reality – but pared down to its energetic and colourful essentials, its expressionistic dynamics, as opposed to external illustrative contours and photographic correctness.

Peter dispenses with surface bravura, developing instead an original take on landscape, departing somewhat from a his early solid foundation in the formalism of Max Meldrum’s tonal realist style of painting, instead relying on the elegant simplification and spontaneity of his colourful brushwork and descriptive eye.

His paintings appear deceptively effortless and unlabored, belying a masterful ability to translate visual impressions in an expressionistic manner that can manifest only through diligent and disciplined practice.

Peter’s economy and grace of his calligraphic brush strokes imbues each picture with an individual fluidity and narrative uncommon in much of contemporary art.

Although inspired by the untrammeled natural world around him, it is the abstract forms and shapes of shadows and sunlight, and the intrinsic unpredictable patterns found in the spatial relationships created by objects interacting in the various moods and atmospheres life that breath fire into his passion for picture making, rather than the objects themselves.

En plein air or working in his studio, Peter sees beauty everywhere. His ‘gift’ for embracing successfully any subject, is to be envied.
Peter holds a Bachelor of Education in Painting (Visual Arts) from Melbourne University, and lectured in painting and drawing there from 1986-88. He also received painterly tuition from Alan Martin, Ron Crawford and Sir William Dargie. In 1982 he participated in a European Study Tour.

He has held numerous solo and group exhibitions, won many awards, and is represented in private and corporate collections in Australia, England, America, Japan, and Europe.

Each year Jenny Pihan Fine Art stages his major Solo Exhibition.

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Artworks

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