New Artist Name
New Artist Name

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By 2014 my role had become largely administrative. I wanted to do something creative again, and had been obsessed with painting for 20 years. I was fortunate enough to be able to leave my job and work from a studio at home. That same year I joined the Richmond Art Society to get involved with the local art scene, little suspecting that 3 years later I would become the chairman!

Not long after I first started painting I read about egg tempera. I was attracted by the idea of making paint from simple, natural materials – egg yolk, water, coloured dirt. I found natural raw linen the most sympathetic support (an unconventional choice) and now “egg tempera on linen” is the only medium I use. It very much determines what kind of paintings I do. It suits some styles and subjects better than others (I’ve tried quite a few!).

I spent a long time focusing on abstract work, Often inspired by Paul Klee. Lately I find that portraits, figures and animals can be successful and I’m lucky enough to have been busy with portrait commissions for the past year. Raw linen is such a beautiful material that I leave a lot of it unpainted so that my subjects seem to emerge from it, or fade into it. I hope this conveys the idea of impermanence – that we are all made of dust, and return to dust, and dwell in this form for so little time. (Ironically egg tempera is the most durable of all painting media).
The process of creation and destruction is simultaneously miraculous and tragic. The process of taking raw materials, transforming them into images (and often destroying them) is like an ongoing rehearsal for this drama of living and dying.


picture name

Two years ago I discovered a new passion – sculpture. Using a life model I create narrative pieces, adding animals, wings, hats, guitars and anything else I can think of so they tell a story. I did a couple of ceramic courses (hand building rather than throwing) a few years ago, so understand the basics of working with clay and glazing techniques. On my original course I created a cartoon series of figures (out of my head, not from life) which won a prize in a competition the college organised: the piece was then purchased by the sculptor Raphael Maklouf, which was a big surprise and very flattering (and paid for the year’s course, which particularly pleased my long-suffering husband!).

I joined the Richmond Art Society in 2011 and have been helping organise the exhibitions since 2012.

Peter Swann - cherub
Peter Swann - jake w
Jake W
Peter Swann - girl hopping
Girl hopping