Featured Artist Peter Clossick

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Please can you tell us about your artistic practice?

I paint and draw from the figure and landscape and always from direct observation of the subject. My concern is to surprise myself, discover underlying structure, stretch my knowledge of visual language and try to discover some metaphysical essence. It is probably easier to say what the work is not overtly about than what it is. I do not consider it is about politics, ecology, illustration, post modernism, I see it as more traditional with values about quality and integrity.

What art education have you received?

First I attended Leicester Polytechnic for a course in Shoe Design and then worked as a Fashion Designer. Following on I attended Camberwell School of Art and Goldsmiths College.

Where do you see your work sitting in relation to figurative and abstract work?

Somewhere in the middle, whether painting is classified as figurative or abstract it is all an art of surface, to be constructed with visual language and arrived at a visual idea.

Where were you born / brought up and how has this affected your painting?

I was born in University College hospital, London, and brought up around Kings Cross, St Pancras, attending the Working Men’s College evening classes at the age of fourteen for life classes. The affect it had on me was a continuous love of oil painting and art in general.

What and whom are your influences?

Really influences are anything and everything from my life in general. Artistically they range from cave painting to the present day. Within my pantheon I would include Rembrandt, Poussin, Courbet, Degas, Van Gogh, Soutine, Giacometti, Bomberg, Auerbach and Kossoff.

Do you have any shows coming up?

For 2016 no solo’s planned at present, but several group exhibitions, Columbia Threadneedle prize, Lyn Painter-Stainers prize, London Group Annual and New English Art Club Annual and Arborealist exhibition at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery.

How do you juggle life and painting?

To live life and have your studio practice requires determination, discipline and ambition, not so much juggling as prioritising. That is as far as an individual’s nature allows them to do these things.

Do you teach, how often?

I have taught in higher, further and adult education to supplement my income, now I am able to stop. Initially I found it useful, trying to explain to others in everyday language intuitive thinking, especially when I found I was really explaining to myself.

Do you have a place you are trying to move towards in your work?

In terms of the future or of the past I live in the present and my primary concern in the studio is what happens at this moment. There is no grand plan other than to refine my thinking and move toward greater structural cohesion.

In practical terms, how do you organise your life work / income / making work / creative projects? What is a usual day for you?

My life revolves around studio time and organisation with the usual events of day to day living, where the domestic concerns have always to be addressed such as shopping etc.  I read, research, network on a continuous basis because that is what I enjoy, and as a self employed person my income is totally variable.