For Peter Stuhlmann, painting is a means of connecting to the land and, through that connection, back to the self.
Quite simply, without a connection to land, and place, there is no authentic self. Additionally, with his work
Peter strives to explore notions of place with and through the passage of time.
With that in mind, he rarely strays from the Shuswap Highlands in around Chase, British Columbia, where he lives
with his wife Diane and their two dogs. With his daily treks into the bush, dogs never too far behind, he's grown so familiar with the landscape there that he often paints
straight from memory, only occasionally making use of photographs.
More than reportage of faithful reproductions of particular locations or objects, each painting is a meditation,
an exploration, and always the search for deeper connections. In particular, these explorations focus on the
interrelationships of shapes and form. Within that there's a striving for movement and exchange of energy that
gives momentum to the final painting.
Peter's interest is never in the final painting as object. Rather he sees the paintings as a means of
communicating meaning and experience from consciousness to another, where previously no relationship existed.
Peter began to draw intensively from the age of four, the result of being sidelined by a broken leg. Interestingly, while this discovered passion for drawing endured,
his dedication to painting would not appear for another forty years. It was made clear that painting would not provide reliable income, so Peter chose a career in the
Being an artist, however, is not something that you simply choose to ignore while doing other work, and a sort of informal education, in the form of art books, was perpetually
underway. These books became an invaluable instrument, Peter could learn composition, value structures, and colour from some of history’s greats—from Rembrandt to Odjig,
from Milne to Hockney, and so on.
In that time there were a few, partial water colours—never a complete painting, the first of which was done in 2007. The catalyst was the move Peter made from Ottawa to Chase
in the Shuswap Highlands of British Columbia. Whether it was the scenery, or his new relationship to Diane (later to become his wife), it didn’t take long for painting to take
Since 2007, Peter has broadened his explorations in paint to becoming a full-time artist, joining the Federation of Canadian Artists, and taking part in shows. The themes of
his paintings have changed as well, from stylized landscapes to exploring narratives that play along surrealist lines.
Peter continues to live and paint in Chase, with his lovely wife Diane and their two exceedingly neurotic dogs, Dozer and Lucy-Mae. To this day he has not had formal education
or training in art.