Peter Smith and his Impossimals

Peter Smith has just released his Summer Collection for 2011, and it is already a hit with established collectors alongside first time buyers. What appeals to collectors on any range of the spectrum is his ability to paint something you can relate to. His characters are based on real people, with a consistent theme that effects us all, our family. Peter Smith creates beautiful stories with his ‘Impossimal’ characters with companionship being the main story. He uses vivid colour and beautiful gradients that give his subject matter a very smooth appearance allowing a comforting and cosy feel. Above all Peter Smith’s work is fun, nurturing and centres around that feeling of being home.

Family by Peter Smith

Family by Peter Smith

“Born in the small town of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire my earliest memory is of a present one Christmas that changed my life. It was a small book of black and white illustrations; the book was called ‘The Magic Painter’ and came with a paintbrush but no paints. To this day I remember the exact feeling I had when I realised that this was very, very special book indeed, you ‘painted’ the pages with water and the colours magically appeared – I was hooked!”

“Holding on to this feeling I wanted others to share in my wonderment so I began painting in earnest. I remember having a small watercolour paint set which I took everywhere. Cats, dogs and people were all painted in the same simplistic form but it was colours and shapes that fascinated me and quite often my attempts degenerated into swirls of colour which I now understand was the start of my art education. Along the way many things added to my development, a few years as a surveyor gave accuracy, a computer programmer added a methodical approach and a graphic artist in the fashion industry put the last piece of the jigsaw together and gave me an understanding of colour and composition, so in some small way they all helped shape my style and in turn my future.”

Step by step process of Thumpers in Jumpers

Step by step process of Thumpers in Jumpers

Thumpers in Jumpers by Peter Smith

Thumpers in Jumpers by Peter Smith

“People ask me where I get my ideas from, the quirky animals, the strong colours and strange concepts, but I see them everyday in the street, the people I meet, the feelings I experience. At the end of every day I have hundreds of images fighting for my attention and the chance to be painted; quite often I get carried away with excitement and fill my sketchbook from cover to cover within hours, which although it can be emotionally draining, the flood of ideas each one linking the next, allows me to evolve my work on paper very rapidly giving me such a rich source of reference material.”

Love Me Do (Sculpture) by Peter Smith

Love Me Do (Sculpture) by Peter Smith

“The inspiration comes from other artists too, the quirkiness of Will Bullas with his strong characters and whimsical titles but also the surreal Salvador Dali which has offered me a unusual slant on the world, but inspiration ultimately comes from deep inside drawing on all my experiences, the sketchbook contains only my surface thoughts, it’s only when painting I place my real emotions down, each canvas receiving a different layer of emotion with each session.”

“My colours to complement the compositions come from my work within the fashion industry and provide strong visual statements, the compositions come from interaction; I like to include some form of connection between the items on a canvas, and quite often the eyes will play a big part in leading a viewer’s perception, imagine yourself looking from the viewpoint of one of the characters, look around from their point of view inside the canvas observing all the other objects, read the title carefully and try to imagine their feelings – you will then begin to understand what I really felt when I painted the piece and hopefully just like me, smile too!”

Still Naughty by Peter Smith

Still Naughty by Peter Smith

“My sketchbooks are literally bursting with ideas and I will flick from page to page until an image or even just a title catches my eye – fun is the key and the selection will quite often be the one that raises the biggest smile.”

“I choose the canvas size carefully and begin to sketch using oil pastels to determine the composition and also apply smudges of colour to help with the balancing of the piece. Here I am looking for a natural sense of form and colour whilst building the light source into the picture, it needs to feel right before I proceed further, I also draw the eyes as accurate as possible; the line of sight has a huge impact upon the final image and I need to get it right as soon as I can.”

“Oil paint can be a very evocative and sensual medium; just the feel, smell and the intensity of colours remind you of the history oils hold which adds to the stimulation of the senses when working. I begin the background by pushing the paint into the canvas with my fingers, this allows me to feel part of the piece at a very basic level and the movement of the oil beneath your fingers is very therapeutic giving a degree of speed and allowing spontaneous decisions to occur. I then start to work my way through brushes getting smaller until the detail starts to appear. The staining effect is created using transparent glazes of colour and copious amounts of scrunched cling-film which creates a fantastic texture. Sponges, rags and brushes are used to tidy up any areas and to add interest. For the impossibly crisp edges a thin layer of linseed oil is rubbed onto the canvas then wiped off to help with the movement of the brush across the surface, this allows me to work on the smooth sharp curves without any drag on the brushes, glazes are applied and tonal transitions are smoothed and deepened – it’s this process that has taken so long to master.”

Artworx Gallery

Artworx Gallery showcasing Peter Smith work

For more information on Peter Smith and his work please visit:

Peter Smith at Artworx Gallery

Alternatively ring 01543 502971
Or email

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