'Being an Artist is a way of seeing the World' with Peter Day

'Being an Artist is a way of seeing the World' with Peter Day

January 21, 2019

Peter Day became a total convert to watercolour some 25 years ago having previously engaged in oil painting and screen printing for 25 years. He is often seen around sketching and painting with a board on his lap, rather than an easel. His style, producing lively and glowingly colourful landscapes, is easily recognisable and not easily imitated.

Kent artist, Peter Day


In 2000 Peter was seen on Channel 4's 'Watercolour Challenge', where he was eventually beaten in the final. He also features in the Book of the Series, where his paintings are used to demonstrate several aspects of what makes a good watercolour. In 2003 Peter was a finalist down to the last 10 on the nationwide Portrait painting TV series 'A Brush with Fame', compered by Carol Smilie. In 2005 Peter won a national competition resulting in the House of Lords buying 3 large paintings for the 'Parliamentary Collection', and were exhibited in the Houses of Parliament. More recently in 2017 he has won Kent Life Magazine's first 'Landscape Painter of the Year' competition. with a cash prize and a prestigious exhibition.

"Broadstairs - Summer Evening on the Jetty", Peter Day Watercolour, 2018


What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?

I worked as a development Chemist to earn a living, running a team developing new products for the paper and screen printing industries. But was born an Artist!

How would you describe your own personal style?

How does one describe one's handwriting? We are all individuals. I paint how I see. People say my watercolours remind them of the old railway posters. I painted in oils for 25 years and some screen printing before discovering watercolour.

"Malta, Luzzu Boats, Spinola Bay, St Julians", Peter Day Watercolour, 2018


What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?

To be an Artist is a way of seeing the world. It is the hardest thing to teach someone, how to see. For me painting, or sketching from, especially from life, is who I am.

Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?

My uncle's both were excellent oil painters, and I was bought my first box of oil paint at 14. I never looked back.

"Trapani, Sicily", Peter Day B.Sc.,  Watercolours, 2015


When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?

Nowadays i only sketch in pen and paint in watercolour. I always buy the best paper pigment and brushes ensuring paints are non fade.

When it comes to the subject matter of your work, what draws you to those themes?

I try to sketch and paint wherever I am. Living in Broadstairs on the Kent coast, naturally I paint the sea, beaches, cliffs, boats and wonderful skies where I live. But I paint everywhere and everything including portraits, pets and wedding venues.

"Lake Maggiore, Fishermans Isle & Isla Bella", Peter Day, Watercolours, 


Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?

My process even in oils is very direct. Sitting at the venue with a board on my lap, generally working down get the sky. I always think that for the customer, the painting is an entertainment! And needs to continue to entertain for many years to come. Accuracy is not the most important factor. Vitality, colour and entertainment value matters.

When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?

I complete one piece at a time.


"Narrow Boats, Gloucester Quays", Peter Day Watercolour, 2018


Which of your artworks are you most proud off?

My last one is always the one I am most pleased with. Never proud of!

What advice would you give to a young aspiring artist currently studying art?

Paint. That is how you learn. Be yourself, don’t copy. Interesting is what you should try to achieve, not accuracy.

"Lanzarotte, towards Puerto Del Carmen", Peter Day, Watercolours, 2002


Is there a fellow artist alive today that you admire? If so, why?

David Curtis, Alvaro Castagnet, Trevor Chamberlain and John Yardley are all excellent artists. I believe that in watercolour the best work is being done today, and being totally ignored as is usual by the art establishment.

When is your next exhibition? Is it a solo or group exhibition? Could you tell us a little about the exhibition, when and where it is?

I exhibit on the seafront railings in Broadstairs. The council call it a concession and charge a fortune! I am there occasional Sunday's and Bank Holidays.  I exhibit about 30 watercolours as well as prints cards and even fridge magnets! I exhibit on my own with my wife as company, and really enjoy meeting and talking to the public.

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