Peter Smales was born in London in 1958 and arrived in Australia in 1966. He started painting in his early teens, receiving early encouragement from the watercolourist C.Dudley Wood and the well known portrait painter, Sir William Dargie. He attended the classes of Alan Martin and Ron Crawford, both students of Max Meldrum, who gave him tuition in the tonal realism style of painting.
In 1983 Peter completed a Bachelor of Education at Melbourne State College, majoring in Painting. He subsequently taught painting and drawing there for three years. He returned to Europe in 1982 for a tour of the major art galleries.
Peter has held exhibitions annually since 1982, at Leveson Gallery in Carlton, Elgin Gallery, Victorian Artist’s Society and recently with Jenny Pihan Fine Art. Drawing his inspiration from nature, his paintings are principally known for their rich colours, captured moods and impressionistic effects.
Peter holds classes from his home studio and the Doncaster-Templestowe Art Society. He conducts workshops and painting demonstrations including paint-out days regularly. He judges many public art exhibitions and is a member of the Twenty Melbourne Painters and the Victorian Artist’s Society.
“My art is fixed firmly in the visual world and paint is the medium I have chosen to express myself. Taking Paul Cezanne’s dictum that art is a return to nature, but not to be taken at face value. Art, artifice, artful – the word implies a contrivance and selection. The four sides of a painting, not found in nature, impose all the conventions that have been adopted by artists over time – the two dimensional decorative abstract and colour possibilities.
Changing light, of beguiling subtlety, falling on objects provides endless and inexhaustible motifs. In the end a painting is paint, not reality. I like paint and I want the end product to look something like the subject and something like paint. That’s the hook – an art for art’s sake aesthetic.”