Peter McDermott

Peter McDermottPeter, entered the West Surrey College of Art & Design at the age of 15, becoming the college’s youngest student. After 5 years formal training, and following a period of 18 years spent in London where he rose to the position of Creative Director within a highly respected agency, Peter felt led to change direction, return to the country of his father, and pursue his first love, watercolours.

Now based on the Isle of Skye with his family, Peter has been painting professionally for just over 10 years, and in that time he has enjoyed successful exhibitions throughout Scotland. Now exhibiting from Easter to October at his gallery in Aird, Sleat. Peters work is represented in many private collections around the world.

Watercolour fascinates me… It’s the combination of discipline and freedom. Discipline, to wait patiently while washes are drying, not being tempted to ‘adjust’ during the drying process, and freedom, because every mark the brush makes means something. Therefore a brush stroke can suddenly become a tree, shadows, rocks, conscious all the time that a wrong move or lack of patience will ruin what has been already been created.

And landscape… As a child, landscape represented a connection to one’s roots, whether it was a painting by my Czech Uncle Ládia of the Krakenos mountains, or a photo of our Scottish Aunties on the shores of Loch Lomond. Landscape evoked emotions of belonging and family. Later, the landscape became a demonstration of God’s magnificent presence in creation, especially with the ever-changing light and dramatic weather patterns found particularly in the Western Isles. Because of this, my work is unashamedly representational, enabling everyone to recognise and react emotionally to the location and elements portrayed.

I draw my inspiration from James Fletcher-Watson, one of Britain’s finest landscape watercolourists, Edward Wesson for his economy of brush strokes and John Singer Sargent for his incredible ability to take the very ordinary and turn it into something beautiful.

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