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Peter Emerson

Working directly from life, Peter Emerson puts himself in the shoes of the 19th century painters. Like those men and women, he does not carry a camera with him. As he seeks out painting spots, he is ever conscious of the light. “Light can bring out the beauty in those things that otherwise appear ugly and distasteful. I am not just painting the beautiful creation; I’m painting light wherever I am, finding beauty in the undervalued as well as the obvious.”

For as long as Peter can remember, he has been drawn to marine art. As an artist that paints on location, he is attracted to coastal areas, and he can frequently be found sketching and painting in marinas and on fishing piers. As he says, “I can’t stray too far from the boats.” His canvases feature scenes of maritime subjects ranging from racing yachts and fishing boats to rocks and surf.

Ever since his first house commission in 2012, Peter has been on an energetic quest to capture the strength and beauty in buildings that same way that he does with boats. Peter has continued this effort, serving his clients by involving them in the process of capturing their unique properties, vessels, and landscapes on canvas. When at work, you might find Peter on a dock, in a field, or even knee-deep in water – all to catch the ever-changing light and right perspective from which to paint.

In the world of art competitions, Peter competed in Paint Annapolis six successive years, winning three awards (Honorable Mention, 2009; 2nd place, 2012; Naval Academy Award, 2014.) Peter also competed in other Maryland shows, including Plein Air Easton in 2013, as well as ones in his home state of Pennsylvania. Not surprisingly, he was chosen to be included in 100 Plein Air Painters of the Mid-Atlantic (Schiffer Publishing, 2014.) Peter received awards at Plein Air Camp Hill (2011, 2012, 2013) and Havre de Grace Plein Air (2010, 2012.) He also had work accepted in the International Marine Art Exhibition in 2010, making him the youngest ever artist to be in Mystic Seaport’s Maritime Art Gallery. He was in several shows there, along with a repeat appearance in the International Marine Art Exhibition in 2012.

Peter’s training included apprenticeships with portraitist Cedric Egeli and landscape painter David Lussier. Like these two men, Peter is passionate about sharing his knowledge with others. Whether it’s an explanation to a casual observer at his easel or a demonstration to a group of high school students, Peter finds unique ways to explain concepts and encourage observation of the light.

Peter now calls southern Rhode Island his home. He continues to paint in the coastal communities there as well as in neighboring Connecticut, regions where family roots run deep.