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About the exhibition

Peter Symonds is without doubt one of the leading landscape artists of his generation. Described as ‘unmatched’ by no less than David Shepherd, it really doesn’t require much effort to see why. His beautiful oil paintings with their characteristic softness and gentle light are a timeless reminder of everything a landscape painting can and should be, a seemingly effortless standard that many other artists can only ever aspire to.

Beckstones has been exhibiting Peter’s work since 1999 and we are very fortunate to be located in an area that Peter loves with a passion. All his Lake District landscape paintings have passed through Beckstones and over the years it has been a delight to see them first hand. We have been looking forward to unveiling this latest collection for some time and as always we are not disappointed, they are quite splendid.

Whether painting the jaw dropping splendour of the Lake District fells or the gentle rolling valleys, lakes and rivers, Peter has an innate ability to convey an emotional response to the viewer giving them the sensation of being there themselves – feeling the warmth of the sun or hearing the trickle of the stream and it is this that fuels our customers’ love affair with his work.

Peter paints in oils on canvas and his distinctive landscapes with their muted palate create mood and atmosphere with his mastery of tone and light. His choice of composition is a product of endless days walking in his beloved Lake District looking for that elusive vista with all the ingredients he requires. The resulting painting is then often brought to life with the inclusion of distant sheep, a solitary walker or the subtlest wisp of smoke coming from a cottage chimney – all strokes of artistic genius.

Born in 1964 Peter has enjoyed a glittering career as an artist for more than 25 years. His sell-out one man shows are always hotly anticipated and demand always exceeds supply. Peter lives in Surrey with his wife and has two grown-up children. When not painting in his studio, Peter loves to cycle, walk and play golf when time allows.

A word from Peter

Peter SymondsIt is an obvious given that the Lake District is exceptionally beautiful, possessing an inherent quality that has it high on the list of the world’s must-see destinations. What it may lack in sheer grandeur is more than compensated for by its soul or character, a particular charm that is so obvious to any visitor. It could therefore be assumed that it must be a very easy place to paint or photograph, especially given the large numbers of pictorial books, paintings and prints that are inspired by the Lake District. When I first started to paint here, I would glean the book shops and galleries searching for ideas on where to go but often came away feeling empty and uninspired. Because of its extraordinary beauty, any depiction of the Lakes can so easily fall into the category of being ’chocolate-boxy’ and I knew I had to avoid this at all costs. To counter this I had a two-part strategy – firstly, I would walk the area inside out and find my own scenes, and secondly I would concentrate on times of day and weather conditions where atmosphere was as important as the location. Niki and Karen will now sometimes tell me on the phone that it is a ‘Peter Symonds’ day when there is broken cloud cover with intermittent sunny intervals. These are undoubtedly my favourite conditions, but even on duller or blue-sky days, atmosphere can be found by being out very early or late, or by facing into the light. This is one of the true joys of painting the landscape in our country, particularly here in the Lake District, as the weather conditions are constantly different and therefore I could never grow bored of interpreting it. Despite the complications of getting up here in the past few years, this amazing landscape has kept me as inspired as ever, and whenever I have to wrench myself away, I am soon dreaming of a return visit. In fact I now spend so much of my time immersed in portraying it that I can often feel I am never far away from here anyway – that is until I step out of my studio!