Peter Swan was born in 1936. He trained at
Somerset College of Art, Taunton: 1953 - 1955
St Martins School of Art: 1955 - 1957, NDD Painting
Institute of Education, London University: 1958 -1959, ATD
Peter went onto teach Art at Ashton Park School and then the College of St Mathias, followed by Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Fine Art, Bristol Polytechnic, retiring in 1985. He has been a member of the Royal West of England Academy since 1970. He works in oil, watercolour and pastel from his studio in Bristol.
I have always been moved by the appearance of things. I believe there is more poetry, drama and abstract tension in subject matter, extracted from the world around us, than any shapes we might make up. I have always worked with the subject in front of me, either finishing the painting in situ, or making small oil studies and drawings, which can be used to make a larger version in the studio. My usual practice is to square up the studies or drawings, and transfer them as faithfully as possible to a larger squared up canvas. Where possible, I will return many times to the subject to collect more information. I like the discipline and sense of tradition in working this way; it gives a "detatched" quality to the process of painting, and allows for several works to be on the go at the same time.