Country style art by Gregory Peters
CountryStyleArt . com
Home of Gregory's Fine Art
About Me

I live in Long Beach California, and am predominantly a painter, creating fine art on canvas. I enjoy sculpting as well and incorporate this skill into my paintings whenever possible.

I refer to these types of artworks as "dimensional" due to the use of mixed media and sculptural techniques.

Probably due to the influence of my artist mother, I developed a love for art at a very early age. I remember scribbling creatively at a mere two years old. While my skills have improved somewhat since those early days, my desire to capture images on paper and canvas has never changed.  My mother was an oil painter principally and looking back, I remember absolutely hating the smell of turpentine and oil paints which is why I doesn't use that medium.  Besides being smelly and messy, oil paints don't dry fast enough to suit my mercurial interests.

When I discovered acrylic paints, that was heaven. Fast, easy, water-based and colors as bright and sparkling as what I was feeling were a delight to use. 

Once, when asked how long it took to create an average work of art, I replied without hesitation "One day."

The look on the prospective patron's face was quite a bit mixed as he tried to process this.  He looked closer at the painting in front of him as though its brush strokes would reveal the magic behind my statement.

"Of course," I slowly pointed out, "I 'painted' the picture in my head over a period of several months refining details and correcting certain elements until I had a very clear idea as to what was going to happen when my brush finally made contact with the surface of the canvas. And it took over 50 years to be able to do just that."

The viewer nodded slowly and walked away with no real clue as to what I referred to, but was satisfied that he had been allowed to share something utterly mysterious to him.

Actually it was at that moment that I realized that I was probably doing what many artists do automatically, and don't even think about.

When I decide to create a painting, I draw from many sources, not the least of which are images for reference and then an interesting process develops which is both physical, mental and spiritual.

While earning a living at a young age, I determined that I would have a tough time making it successfully as a fine artist, so developed my skills and interests as a graphic designer.  It proved a fortuitous choice, as I learned and was able to develop a skill-set of talents others would pay good money to take advantage of.  Thus, I entered the world of commercial art or 'visual communications'. There are only two elements in good communication, and those are words and pictures. I found out I could provide both and reasonably well.

For most of my early life until I graduated high school, I travelled around the world as one of 5 sons of a United States diplomat. I was an embassy brat; rich in experiences, but short of any sense of connectedness to anything of value. It was hard to get connected when moving every two to three years to a new country. I became a bit of an introvert. At 17 I got my first job in a commercial design studio in Tokyo, Japan and reveled in the fast paced world of advertising.  This early experience served me well during later years following my design school experience at the now defunct Burnley School of Professional Art in Seattle.

I found I could marry creative words to images to convey powerful messages to potential customers and actually get paid for it.  I developed a following of commercial customers who paid me astounding money at times to portray their products using my word and image skills in creative ways.

Many big name companies you are probably familiar with utilized my skills. Kenworth, Price-Pfister, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and PG&E are just a few.  It was always creative, very lucrative and fun, but ultimately all it accomplished was commercial success, not creative artistic success and as I slid into a very interesting career in aerospace the canvas called ever louder.

Of course, having picnics in an Arabian tent with the pyramids in the background or feeling the spiritual connection of temple gods in Niiko, Japan are difficult to translate into artwork that necessarily captures the imagination of potential buyers of fine art, so my restless spirit had to be tempered to suit the interests of others.

I re-visited my "roots" and began to dabble once again into the world of fine art with incremental changes and a bit of success here and there," Peters reflected. "Success was tempered by what I chose to paint, and I discovered that while this was enlightening, it was truly an encapsulation of the phrase, 'Life is a journey, not a destination.' Not everyone liked what I enjoyed painting.

Each subsequent exposure to life lessons and  experiences registered on my subconscious though, and the result was a rich bucketful of material to draw from. This ultimately led to whole collections of subject matter such as koi, vintage aircraft, land and seascapes and a host of other themes born from genuine experiences. Red Robin, the painting to the left, shows how I blended my award-winning vintage aircraft art with love of the wine country into a delightful scene many would love to experience.

While attending art school, I enjoyed hiking and camping through the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and up into the wilds of Canada.  Those trips would have a profound influence upon creating images of the rich bounty nature offers up.

To bring together a vast collection of skills to harness the constant stream of viable images running through his brain I use a process  developed years ago.

I'll get an idea from any number of sources which could be magazines, trips though the countryside, images I've seen on the web and sketches I might make, then I utilize my graphic design skills to take those images and arrange them using software such as Photoshop. This versatile software is handy to determine if images can "work" together. Once I've created a composition of suitable elements, I'll mentally register the picture, see how I feel about it and begin painting it in my head.  No mess, no fuss, no wasted time!

Once the image gels and I've determined it might translate into a suitable work of art, I sketch the image from my mind onto a suitable canvas and thus capture the essential parts in an understandable fashion.  Painting it often is like an exercise of paint-by-numbers and, while that sounds simplistic, it is of course more complicated than that.  It takes the guesswork out of a composition though when not actually looking at the elements; much as you would look at a scene from real life."

$1000 FIRM is an example of a composition utilizing 3 different components and arranging them in a believable fashion.  They are all quite real, just not necessarily in this configuration.  The mailbox, by the way is sculpted from a plastic modeling compound and the latch is fashioned from paper.

Over the past several years, I've come to a sobering, amazing realization. While I enjoy capturing images that reflect the past such as old trucks and abandoned farms, many of those items and places are vanishing at an alarming rate. 

Places rich in heritage are disappearing as we transition toward the future, and discard the past. Future generations will never enjoy them as he does.  And yet, there is something profoundly  moving about this transition from an earlier era to the Age of Information we are now moving into.

I call it the 'Vanishing West'. Components of this era are a terrific source of inspiration to draw from in ways that are both creative and pleasing to the eye, but hopefully as a means to make people stop, think and listen to the call of nature.

That force that is inherent in all we do and helps create the environment we live in is a vital part of who we are.  We need to pay attention to what it tells us. We have but to listen.  Go to the quiet places and open your inner ear to the soft, persistent voice and you'll know what I speak of.

I paint the American West not in the sense of "western" art but as western images of the west as it is.  We grow grapes now on old ranchlands and are richer for the transition to a whole new way of appreciating nature.

I decided some time ago that the world was my audience and the internet my gallery. I've been producing and selling art for a number of years to a growing collector base. My art hangs in homes around the U.S. and several foreign countries. While I can paint darn near anything, my current focus centers predominantly on country life themes drawn from our bountiful west."

I might also mention here that one of my other interests is writing. Specifically, besides the copywriting I've done for years, I write Erotic Fiction.  Yup. You may fine my works through  Amazon Kindle, but they are not for the timid. This is very graphic writing of an extremely personal and entertaining nature. If you're up for it, check them out.  "The Naughty Little Bedside Reader" is my latest collection.  Enjoy!

Art shows:

Waterland Festival – Des Moines, WA 1978
Coopeville Art Fair – Coopeville, WA 1979
Arts & Crafts Exhibition, –Pico Rivera, CA 1993
Art of Aviation Gala V – El Segundo, CA 2000
Spectacular Sports Art Show – San Pedro, CA 2001
Juried Exhibition, Long Beach Arts Gallery, Long Beach, CA 2002-03
World Trade Center Displays – Long Beach, CA 2003-04
Northrop Grumman Hidden Talent Art Show, El Segundo, CA 2005

Belmont Shores Arts and Crafts Festival, Long Beach CA 2007
Santa Ana Art Lofts Artwalk, Santa Ana, CA 2009
Mission San Juan Capistrano, CA 2009
Gallery 212, Seal Beach, CA 2010
Hermosa Beach Artwalk, Hermosa Beach, CA 2012
La Jolla Festival of the Arts, La Jolla, CA 2012
CA101, Redondo Beach, CA 2012
Seal Beach Art Festival, Seal Beach, CA 2012
Aquarium of the Pacific- Urban Ocean Festival (1st place win), Long Beach, CA 2016

Numerous collectors (upon request)

Xanadu Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
Gallery 212, Seal Beach, CA
Gallery 10, Lopez, WA

Art schooling:
Burnley School of Professional Art, Seattle Washington - 1974
Self-taught principally with additional studies under Seattle artist Bill Cumming.
Plain-old schooling:
BS/Business Administration - Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA
AA/Marketing - Long Beach City College, Long Beach, CA
Public Relations Certificate - CSULB, Long Beach, CA
Web Design Certificate - CSULB, Long Beach, CA

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