PW Rushton

MyRefractions.com met Peter Rushton in his 11th floor offices at the World Trade Centre building in Diplomatic Area, Manama, Bahrain recently. MyRefractions.com wish to thank Mahmood Al Awadhi, a good friend and a capable Administrator for initiating the meeting with Peter.

Peter was recovering from a mild stroke but was so kind enough to share his life experiences and how it feels to be a creative source of positive energy.

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Some excerpts from our conversation… some images of his paintings… and himself.
Please scroll down for more.

Is there an artwork here you are most proud of? Why?
There is a painting that I dearly cherish which has been in many an exhibition I have entering, but has not included a price tag. During 1978 when I was in England and were unsure of my future direction at that time, I had a vision in my mind of a beautiful young lady with who wore a head scarf. She had a tanned skin and vivid blue eyes. This was at a time when I was using an airbrush which needed a lot of preparation and precision in technique. I look back now and the painting was depicting of what lay ahead of me for the years to come. After 19 years in the Middle East, I should have questioned my visual ability a bit more seriously.

– What inspired you to become an artist?
From the time that I could draw properly I had a passion. I grew up wanting to express art in various ways, allowing the subject matter dictated which technique I adopt.

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-What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
I have a number of tools that I use in most paintings, namely a wide variety of brushes and sponges. The tool that seems I can’t live without; certain in my studio are my knives. This includes a pallet knife up to a bread carving knife from the kitchen! Mostly, I use acrylic paint as it is faster to use than oils however, you can get the same depth and textured when the paint is being applied by a knife.

– How did you get where you are today?
My influences are first and foremost everything I see, feel and experience, but I’ve always loved the unexpected. My love is the rhythm of life and how it can be represented. Plus a lot of hard work, commitment and dedication!

– What is the main challenge you face when beginning a painting?
I’m never without a creative thought as I am constantly being inspired by what is around me; sometimes the thoughts are left in my mind and other times they develop into more in-depth ideas and detailed images.

– At what point in the process of the painting do you begin to feel like the painting is almost completed?
A painting tells me when it’s finished, in fact, there have been times when I could not put another stroke on the canvas; the painting would not let me! A painting develops its own life as it being created.

– How has painting influenced your life?
During my years in London where I exhibited and also became a critic at private shows, the exposure to various subject matters and styles of art has played a significant influence in my creative approach today.

– What qualities do you look for in other artists whom you would like to work with?
I would say that I wouldn’t want to work with other artists as I have done that before and I believe there needs one Captain of a ship. If I would to critic the qualities of what makes a good painter, I would say they would need to be Inspiring, concept driving, emotional, original and passionate.

– How do you manage balancing work/life?
It is difficult. However, my day to day function demands that I use my creative ability and use the experience that I gained being Creative Director for Advertising Agencies throughout my career. I naturally employ these skills with the Team and the Agency we work with. Thinking original thoughts and guiding those that need them makes up some ways in equalizing the balance.

– What do you like most about your career?
I didn’t intend to be a contemporary artist but over the years, as my portfolio styles naturally evolved from a photographic illustrative style to looser acrylics and people started to review my work at International Exhibitions, the descriptions started to emerge and I began to notice a style I hadn’t intended but am now pleased with.

-What are you working on at the moment?
As most appreciated in my last exhibition, I am drawing to the close of a painting which features two sunflowers which adopts a style that was very well received. At the same time, I have two canvases which I am starting for a project that I am really looking forward to. I see them as a pair, working together and creating a harmony in their form.

-Where else can we find you? (Blog, website, twitter, facebook etc)
I have utilized a website for a number a years and I am just updating my site. What with the Social Media leading the way, I am in the process of uploading my work onto my Facebook site for ease of visual access.

-Do you admire any artists / photographers?
The artist I most admire is Salvador Dali. For me, he was a genius before his time in conceptual thinking and technique.

-What is your favorite…

Color:
One of the Jewel colours appeals me most; a ‘charoite’ sits well with most other colours and yet is very unique in its vibrancy.

Animal:
I have two Golden Retriever dogs, a mum (Sophie) and her daughter (Sunny). When they play, you know they are around and yet when I am being serious about painting, they quietly sit in my studio and keep me company.

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Season:
As a gardener, I enjoy the blossom of plants that have lasted the winter. Spring adds colour, shape and form and adds life to its environment.

-Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?
“Rules are what the artist breaks; the memorable never emerged from a formula.”

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