Peter Campbell (b. 1963) seeks to convey an intimate and personal reaction to nature. He has created landscapes painted in oil of hushed, quiet times of day: dawn, twilight and moonlight. Campbell has learned to tap the spirit world that lingers in all of us. He shapes moods quietly without resorting to sentiment or unnecessary romance. His creativity is stirred by the deep rays of sunsets, cool gray days, late evenings, plowed fields – nature at her most serene. He paints themes with limited color scale, depending upon tonal hues to create delicate and subtle relationships expressed by the changeable moods of light and atmosphere: Campbell seeks to express a personal, suggestive and dreamlike world without presenting the detailed aspects of nature.
Fleeting glimpses are the spark behind many of Campbell’s landscape paintings. Out of the corner of his eye he will see something that catches his fancy and inspires him to paint. The challenge comes, he says, in trying to transfer that instant response to canvas. “You almost have to fight to hold on to that original idea,” he says. “It takes a lot of work to develop that glimpse into the work you’re trying to produce.”
Campbell started his artistic career as a photographer, studying at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. While he honed his photography skills, painting became his passion, and he started painting full-time after moving to Colorado several years ago. He says his photographic background comes in handy when he’s working on his landscapes, which are often abstracted views of nature. “Photographers are able to look at the world and imagine a frame around it, seeing the shapes interact with each other,” he says.
The life of an artist suits Campbell well, and his goals are simple: to continue pursuing his passion for painting. “Once you start down the road of art and painting, it’s a drug,” he says. “I’m not happy if I’m not painting.” Campbell “finds inspiration in the mountains, desert and ever-changing light.” He says, “I work mainly on location to get a direct connection with the landscape. I believe this gets the ‘outside’ into a painting, giving it elements that make it alive.”