ladias painting
me in kilt
I was always good at drawing!

This was probably due to the lack of televison as a child, and the fact that I had an uncle in Czechoslovakia, Ladia, that painted. Now I need to say at this point that my childhood wasn't the most normal; my Father being Scots and my mother Czech meant that much of what surrounded and influenced me was from countries other than the one I was born in, namely England. Parcels from Czechoslovakia bore an air of mystery and contained things unfamiliar to an English child, even the postage stamps had a romantic look about them. If that wasn't enough, hanging on the walls were paintings by my uncle Ladia, scenes of villages, ponds, mountains, rivers and snow-clad trees, a constant delight to my mother, and something that had a great influence on me. Then there was the Scottish connection, apparently my Father spoke with a broad accent, I never noticed; in fact both his and Mum's Czech accents sounded more normal than the voices outside the front door. In much the same way as the parcels from overseas, visits from folk north of the border always created a sense of wonder and anticipation in our home, photographs of aunties on the shores of Loch Lomond, or tales of cars breaking down on the 'rest and be thankful' endgendered a love for everything that dear old England wasn't.

So, perhaps that was the reason why at the tender age of sixteen I entered the West Surrey College of Art & Design. After 5 years formal training, the last three specialising in graphic design (this to allay my parents fears that all artists are paupers!), I entered the world of commercial art. First in a design studio then rising through various positions to eventually become Creative Director in one of London's best Marketing agencies. All during that time I never lost my love of drawing, but like so many, the opportunity to paint was relegated to things one did on holiday, frustrating at best, soul destroying at worst, it was frankly better to leave the paints at home instead of going through the stress of trying to create something decent. Only when my wife started a morning watercolour class did things get going. Accompanying her on weekends I found, that which others struggled with, came easily to me; and after attending a week's course at Phillips House, I determined one day that I would take the plunge. That day came sooner than I had anticipated, when after a set of strange circumstances, we found ourselves as a family considering a move to the Isle of Skye, literally burning all bridges behind us and starting a new life and career painting, all from an old church, at what sometimes feels located at the end of the world!

Now again at this point I need to say, I believe God has been at the centre of everything I've ever done, and so making the move wasn't quite as daunting as it could have been. Eighteen years on from that day of decision His hand has guided and provided in many wonderful ways. So, what can I say, it's a privilege to be able to create paintings which people love, and those paintings literally going all over the world. Thanks to all who support and take an interest in my work.

Peter