PAINTINGS by a retired local government executive are to be shown in his first solo exhibition.
Peter Appleton from Elton, near Chester, developed a passion for painting during his schooldays but university studies and a life-long career in local government meant his paints and easel had to take a back seat – until now.
Following his retirement as deputy chief executive of a local authority in Shropshire, Peter, 60, returned to his passion for painting.
He took a course with the Open College of the Arts (OCA).
He has now been named as the winner of the college’s premier prize, the prestigious Richard Robbins Award for 2013.
To celebrate the prize, Peter’s solo exhibition is to take place at the View Two Gallery in Liverpool’s Mathew Street from November 7-16.
Peter chose the urban landscape of the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal as the perfect canvas for his art.
Peter even has a ‘secret ingredient’ to give his work an added touch of reality.
As he places his easel on the banks of the Mersey, he gathers litter, especially bits of thrown away newspapers, and incorporates them into his paintings.
Peter’s career as a serious urban landscape artist proves life can begin at 60 for somebody with the dream and the passion to swap a desk for an easel.
Peter said: “Painting has been part of my life since my schooldays. Like many children of the 1960s, I was guided to a ‘proper job’ and embarked on a career that took me to Dundee University and then working for local councils around the country.
“Early retirement finally gave me the chance to return to my great passion for art. I tend to paint outside when I can and that is where I pick up litter and pieces of newspapers and use them in my paintings.
“I find using something I have found at the location of a painting gives it a sense of place,” says Peter, who now works out of the 104 Duke Street Studios in Liverpool.
The exhibition, A Journey to the Places and People of the Mersey, is being held from November 7-16. The Gallery opens Thursdays, Fridays, from noon until 4pm, and on Saturdays, from noon until 5pm. Admission is free.